What happened at the Park and Gaines National Forest in Georgia
Posted On August 8, 2021
Georgia’s National Forest, once a symbol of the American West, was destroyed by a massive wildfire that killed two employees and injured more than 50 people on Thursday.
The wildfire, which was fueled by an embers from a tree fire in the area, burned from a single spot in the woods and spread quickly to other nearby areas, the Georgia Department of Forestry and Wildlife (GDFW) announced.
Firefighters fought to contain the blaze and restore a few hundred acres of the park, but the wildfire destroyed nearly all of it.
Firefighting crews were called to the scene at about 9:40 p.m. local time, according to the agency.
The fire destroyed more than 600 homes and destroyed dozens of structures, GDFW said.
The National Park Service (NPWS) said in a statement that the fire had forced a number of structures to be evacuated, as well as damaged one of the NPWS’ emergency shelters.
GDFG said in its statement that more than 300 people were evacuated from the area on Thursday and that officials were on site assessing the damage.
GDS officials said they were still assessing the extent of the damage, but they said it was too early to speculate about the number of fatalities.
The fires, which have burned for more than three weeks, have killed one person, destroyed more over 500 homes, and caused over $8 million in damage.
A total of 787 people have been evacuated from more than 6,000 homes in the park in the past 24 hours, according the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA).
Officials have evacuated more than 9,000 people from the National Park in Georgia.
According to the GDFA, the wildfire burned over a 1,500-acre area, destroying more than 70 structures.
The blaze destroyed homes and burned some structures, and the wildfire also destroyed a road, a trail, a bridge, a telephone pole, a tree, and power lines.
Gases from the embers were spread throughout the forest and into nearby brush, destroying homes and other structures.
“We have had multiple evacuations of homes in this area, but we have not had any deaths,” Georgia Gov.
Nathan Deal said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“There’s not a lot of people left in this forest, but there are families who have been displaced.”
GDFB reported that two of the employees were reported to have died at the scene, and that one firefighter had suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The park is located in the southeastern part of Georgia, and it is managed by the National Forest System.
A number of other wildfires have burned in the state over the past few years.
Last month, a wildfire burned through more than 4,500 acres of forest in the town of Lake County, killing seven people and injuring 17 others.