By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bulloch wildfire still burning; citizens warned against outdoor burning
A haze hangs over the center of Nevils Tuesday as smoke from the massive wildfire near Waycross and a small one burning off Seed Tick Road in the southeast corner of Bulloch County covered most of the area. Wind conditions are expected to make Wednesday another smoky day in Bulloch and surrounding counties. - photo by PAT HOMER/staff
A wildfire burning in the Pembroke area isn't nearly as large as the one still raging in the Okeefenokee Swamp, but the Seed Tick Road fire has burned for a week and is an example of how easily dry conditions could result in a volatile situation.
    The blaze, located about a half mile from Ash Branch Church Road in the extreme southeast corner of Bulloch County, is still contained by fire breaks, but continues to burn, said Georgia Forestry Chief Ranger Linwood McNure.
    The fire is suspicious and may be the result of arson, he said.
    "It is located off a dirt road ... not near any houses," he said. "I'm not sure how it got started – it was hard to find any evidence" after firefighters began trying to extinguish the flames.    
    The fire "spotted" – spread by ash or cinders in the air – and started a blaze in a second location nearby, he said.
    "Georgia Forestry has been aggressive in assisting us" with the fire, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn. The fire "is not in any way the size of the one in Ware County, but it keeps flaring up."
    Firefighters have returned several times to the location after the initial battle last week to contain it. Winds and arid conditions are exacerbating the situation, but "We've got people who are staying on top of it," he said.
    The initial call came in to Bulloch Central 911 last Wednesday and firefighters from the Bay, Nevils and Stilson districts responded, as well as forestry officials, Wynn said.
    They called a Bulloch County Sheriff's deputy to file a report because the blaze was "suspicious in nature," he said.
    Currently, extremely dry conditions make burning anything outside dangerous, McNure said. The Georgia Forestry Commission is not issuing any burn permits at all, not even special condition permits, he said.
    "Don't burn anything," Wynn said. "Don't throw lit cigarettes out the car windows. Be very conscientious. With the dry conditions, it doesn't take much to get (fires) going."
    Statesboro Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield reiterated Wynn's  and McNure's  advice.
    "Avoid any kind of outdoor burning," he said. "Southeast Georgia is an extremely dry area right now. As a result, the vegetation is highly flammable right now."
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter