GFC Emphasizes Safety Precautions for Fire Prevention Week

SEPTEMBER 30, 2004--The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) urges residents statewide to think safety and exercise caution in observance of National Fire Prevention Week October 3-9.

GFC Rangers and Foresters urge hunters, fishermen, campers and all others engaged in outdoor activities to be aware of the dangerous wildfire potential at this time of year. Clearing wide areas around campfires – and extinguishing all campfires – are primary preventive measures that are especially important during the fall season.

Statistics from GFC show debris burning continues to be the number one cause of wildfires. Burning permits are issued by Georgia Forestry Commission units throughout the state when climatic conditions are favorable for outdoor burning.

Fire prevention practices for homeowners should include raking leaves and removing flammable vegetation for at least 30 feet from any structure. Homeowners can create a safety area by planting fire-resistant plants that are properly spaced in yards. Leaves should be removed from gutters – and firewood should be stacked away from any structure that could catch fire.

The GFC works in cooperation with Rural Fire Defense (RFD) operations statewide in promoting fire prevention. RFD is a network of volunteer and paid fire departments coordinated by the Georgia Forestry Commission.

During National Fire Prevention Week, GFC presents school related programs statewide on request from teachers. For additional information, visit the GFC website at www.gatrees.org or contact your local Georgia Forestry Commission office.