A brush fire in the middle of a swampy area in southern central Effingham County could be quelled shortly.
But it also may reignite in the future.
Georgia Forestry Commission firefighting crews, along with several area fire departments, have been trying to contain the blaze between Midland Road and an area bordered by Zipperer and Herbert Kessler roads.
“We’ve got breaks around it,” said Vernon Owens, the district forest ranger. “We’re waiting until the fire gets to them and we’ll see if they hold.”
Cutting fire breaks hasn’t been easy in some spots around the fire. It’s in the middle of a swampy area, making it difficult for the forestry commission’s tractors to get through. But the vegetation that fuels the fire is dry.
“We’ve got a couple of areas we can’t get the tractors through because it’s so wet,” Owens said.
The GFC has seven tractor plow units working to establish fire breaks, and a spotter plane has been circling overhead constantly. It was a forestry plane that spotted the fire in the first place Monday.
Effingham County fire units have been working the fire for a week and a half, county fire chief Val Ashcraft said.
“It’s difficult to get around because it’s in a swamp,” he said.
Forestry tractors have gotten stuck and have had to be pulled out nearly a half dozen times.
Owens said trucks from various departments are stationed at houses nearest the fire just in case.
“We pretty much have got it covered,” Ashcraft said. “We have enough equipment to protect all the households.”
The fire, even after it dies down, could smoke and smolder for weeks, Owens said, until enough rain falls to put it out completely.
“Two months down the road, it could re-ignite,” he said. “Until we get some rain, we’ll be monitoring this thing.”