“We are actually drier than we were in 2016,” Georgia Wildfire Prevention Specialist Mark Wiles said.
Outdoor conditions in Chattooga County are comparable to drought-stricken years like 2016. That’s the year wildfires swept through the Great Smokey Mountains killing 14 people and causing more than $500 million in damages.
“What has really been attributing to it are these 100-degree temperature days that have gone for so long,” Wiles said.
Wiles is part of a PR team that’s been sent to Northwest Georgia to warn people.
“You all are about to have more humans in the woods,” Wiles said.
Daytime temperatures are expected to drop a little and that will encourage hikers and people to get back in the woods. Tourists, hunters, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts could increase the chances of a wildfire.
The Weather Channel’s 10-day forecast shows a 60-percent chance of rain on Monday. That’s won’t be enough, according to Wiles.
“I think they are predicting a little bit of rain. But it’s not going to be enough. It is going to take several days of soaking rainfall,” Wiles said.
Wiles and his team are planning to set up at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and other sporting stores outside of Atlanta to warn people heading into the woods in North Georgia.
“We want to catch them on the way to let them know,” Wiles said.