More than 100 acres in Guyton off Riverside Drive erupted into flames Thursday afternoon. No one was injured and no structures were harmed, however.
Frank Hines, chief ranger at the Georgia Forestry Commission Effingham office, said the fire began around 1:40 p.m. on privately owned property then crossed Riverside Drive and continued on land owned by International Paper, Inc.
About 117 acres were involved.
What caused the blaze is still under investigation.
“We’re not sure yet,” Hines said.
He noted that the cause had to be either arson or reburn. A fire investigator will be brought out to determine the culprit.
Forestry crews monitored the land until around 4 p.m. Friday to make sure more fires did not develop. As of Friday morning, the land was still smoldering.
Eight fire plows, one air patrol and a helicopter with a 400-gallon container were used to put out the fire. It was out around 8 p.m. Thursday, but smoke filled the air.
The forestry commission and Guyton Fire Department responded to the fire. Forestry units from Screven, Bulloch and Bibb counties came to assist.
Hines said the dry weather and winds contributed to the fire.
“We’re in a moderate drought condition,” he said. “It’ll burn places now that it wouldn’t burn before.”
The chief ranger advises people not to burn anything until the area has received sufficient rainfall. Hines added that residents should watch the weather forecast regularly to stay aware of weather conditions.
This weekend is expected to have particularly hazardous weather. The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook in effect through Thursday. There will be high winds in the area on Sunday with near critical winds and humidity on Monday afternoon.