SAVANNAH — Foresters say what looks like a busy wildfire season is off to an early start in southern Georgia, where drought conditions have left woods and timberland as dry as tinder.
Alan Dozier, chief firefighter for the Georgia Forestry Commission, says wildfires burned more than 14,000 acres — or about 22 square miles — in the state in February, typically considered the first month of the wildfire season. That's more than three times the average wildfire loss for that month.
Dozier says if the pace keeps up through spring, Georgia could have 10,000 wildfires for the first time since 2002.
For the fiscal year that started in July, Georgia has had more than 5,300 wildfires. Though they averaged fewer than 6 acres each, the Georgia fires have killed eight people and destroyed 123 homes.