Page 24 - Georgia Forestry - Issue 3 - Summer 2020
P. 24

 slightly above the monthly average. An online database is now being utilized to track timber transaction complaints. When entered by GFC personnel, an automatic alert is sent to LE, which streamlines the process for the complainant.
Forest Protection
The GFC Protection Department has remained on call and responsive to wildfire, 24/7, in all 159 counties. Wild- land fire personnel and equipment are strategically positioned at 119 locations throughout the state.
Fortunately, wildfire activity has been
low throughout the spring. From January through April 24, 606 wildfires have burned 2,579 acres in Georgia. The five-year average for the same period is 1,549 wildfires. No significant wildfire activity is expected for the Southeast for the next several months.
Rainfall through- out the year has helped alleviate high fire danger for the most part, other than on days when winds are brisk or gusty and relative humidity is low. The Keetch-Byram Drought Index indicates good soil moisture in most
parts of the state.
The Environmental Protection Divi-
sion’s annual ban on outdoor burning began on May 1 in 47 counties, mostly in the northern half of the state. For seven counties that are normally included in the summer burn ban, restrictions were activated on June 1, giving them extra time to clear vegetative debris from April storms. Those counties are Banks, Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Upson
and Walker. The burning restrictions are put in place during the summer months, when increases in ground-level ozone may create health risks.
Elsewhere, Georgians are required to get a burn permit from the GFC before burning outdoors. Permits are available online at, by calling 1-877-OK2- BURN or by contacting your county GFC office. The GFC is particularly mindful about the potential impact of smoke and reminds everyone who burns to also be aware of their smoke and where it is going. Air quality indices are closely monitored by the Environmental Protection Division and GFC wherever prescribed fire is permitted.
The department responsible for collecting seeds and planting, nurturing, lifting and selling a wide variety of soft and hardwoods has been keeping a brisk pace throughout the ongoing COVID- 19 emergency. Fortunately, as the health restrictions were being imposed, GFC Reforestation was coming out of its shipping season and beginning its seed- sowing season. Staff has teleworked when
Specializing in Land and Timber Management & Sales
Registered Forester GA Number 2164 Licensed Realtor in GA Number 165520
20364 GA Hwy #3 Thomasville, GA 31792
  229.221.3016 •
Contact your account executive, KAREN BARK, for more information: 443-909-7824

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