Forestry says Lookout Mountain wildfire is growing, forcing road shutdowns
The Georgia Forestry Commission says a wildfire on Lookout Mountain is growing.
Fire officials say the fire had been quiet for the past few days, but extremely dry conditions and windy conditions have fueled it.
In addition, crews are dealing with steep terrain that makes fighting the fire difficult.
"We do not have any access at all," said Pat Stockett, with the Georgia Forestry Commission. "It is so steep. And it is so rocky. The only thing we can do right now is fight fire with fire. And use dozers where we can."
Crews use controlled burns - to control the fire.
"All it does is remove the fuel between the fire and the fire break," said Stockett. "So it actually increases our defensible space."
Fire officials say the wildfire has burned roughly 175 acres and is expected to grow.
"More dead branches drop," said Stockett. "They will pile up and reignite."
Crews are removing dead trees and debris in the area to reduce the chance of the fire spreading.
The GFC says hang gliding vista is closed and all equipment has been removed as crews deal with the fire.
"The updrafts are unpredictable, the fire its self is unpredictable," said Stockett. "For safety reasons it did close down today."
No evacuation orders have been issued. There are 9 houses currently being secured in the event the fire moves closer to the houses.
The Forestry Commission is about half way through the fire season - but they're already 200% above the five year average for fires.