“It’s been extremely dry, so we have to be very careful,” said Liz Caldwell of USDA Forest Service.
It’s that time of year, Autumn, where wildfires tend to happen a lot more often — which is why nearly 40 kids and their families learned the value of fire prevention on Saturday, both how to take precaution and how to react.
“You don’t want to have any leaves or any needles nearby — If the fire sparks out and comes out, what’s going to happen to the woods?” Caldwell asked the kids. “It’s going to burn, and that’s going to cause a bad wildfire.”
Both the Georgia Forestry Commission and the USDA Forest Service partnered at Chickamauga Battlefield Park to teach the important lesson of how to start campfires and put them out.
Expert Mark Wiles says the majority of wildfires are caused by humans.
“We just want them to be careful and make sure if they do build a campfire, they put it out appropriately,” Wiles said.
Wiles says there are many more people outdoors in the forests during the Fall months, which then leads to more chances for fires to get out of hand quickly.
He says it’s generally too dry right now to have a campfire until we get substantial rainfall for consecutive days.
“The leaves are like fuel … Once it’s ignited, with the wind blowing and driving those flames, it’s super hard to control,” Wiles said.
Wiles also says it’s dryer outside right now than it was during this season in 2016, when Chattanooga experienced a streak of wildfires in a short amount of time.