Georgia Department of Agriculture

Protect Homes and Businesses from Wildfires During the Drought


Georgia Department of Agriculture
Gary W. Black, Commissioner
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30334

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Press Release
Friday, November 04, 2016
Office of Communications

Protect Homes and Businesses from Wildfires During the Drought

Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black and the Georgia Department of Agriculture would like to draw attention to Georgia’s persistently dry conditions resulting in high fire danger across the state. The current forecast predicts Northerly winds with gusts of 20 to 25 miles per hour, 30% drop in humidity and no substantial amount of rainfall over the next ten days.

“This year’s drought has already caused our farmers and their families quite a bit of angst with dry conditions resulting in significant forage losses,” says Commissioner Black. “We certainly do not want to exasperate our issues with the real danger that fire poses to our communities.”

The Northern region of Georgia has seen the driest conditions. Rome, Georgia has gone 38 days with a total of measureable rain less than or equal to 0.01. This is the longest period without rain since the records began in 1948.

There are more than 75,000 wildfires reported every year in the United States and 9 out of 10 are caused by humans. The National Fire Protection Association suggests the following tips to protect homes and businesses from a wildfire:

  • Clear debris from roofs, gutters and decks
  • Store outdoor furniture inside
  • Close all windows and doors tightly, including pet doors
  • Seal any vents or openings on the outside of your home
  • Rake mulch at least five feet away from your home
  • Trim branches or shrubs closer than five feet from home, deck or fence
  • Remove items able to act as a food source away from your home

Contact the Georgia Forestry Commission or local authorities to determine whether your county is under a burn ban. For further information to prevent wildfires or apply for a burn permit visit:


About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit


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