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NCFS warns of increased fire hazards

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- While warmer temperatures send residents outside to do yard work, the Newton County Fire Service reports it has been kept busy this week fighting several woods and grass fires throughout the county.

According to NCFS Chief Mike Satterfield, a trailer that was hauling heavy equipment started a woods fire on Flat Shoals Road Monday that was still smoldering Wednesday morning.

"Something started burning and it just spread embers as it went down the road," Satterfield said Wednesday. "Old stumps have been burning and smoldering. We're keeping a watch on it, and we've been down there this morning."

Satterfield said the burning took place along Flat Shoals Road between Ga. Highway 36 and Bypass Road. No homes were in danger from the fire.

On Tuesday, a woods and grass fire Satterfield described as "pretty big" erupted on Ga. Highway 36 near the FFA Camp, which kept firefighters busy in the afternoon.

Other, smaller fires have been started throughout the county, Satterfield said.

"It's dry and the vegetation is still dead, so we'll be seeing this until things start to green up," he said. "It's time for spring cleaning for a lot of people and a lot of these fires have been started by people intending to burn dried limbs and yard waste and the fires have gotten out of control."

The fire chief cautioned that people who burn outside should keep an ample water supply handy, be sure to wet the ground around the fire and stay with the fire until it is completely out.

"It doesn't take much for it to take off," he said.