Long County held a community-awareness public meeting Wednesday at the high school to inform people about what happened during last week’s fire. The forum also provided safety tips for how to help prevent wildfires.
Long County acting Chief Ranger Paul Robertson of the Georgia Forestry Commission was a member of the panel.
Robertson showed several photos of the fire. He also explained how the incident command system went into action as units from Long County and the surrounding areas joined together to combat the fire. After Robertson finished his presentation, members from the Southern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team also spoke to the crowd.
“You all need to start working toward a Firewise community now so that in the future you’ll make my job easier,” Division supervisor Mike Lee said.
He said homeowners should have fire-resistive roof construction on homes and at least a 30-foot buffer, but preferably a 100-foot buffer where no ignition hazards are located.
Team member Bonnie Strawser praised the efforts of local responders and firefighters.
“I’ve never had a fire of this size where the local units had already established the lines (around the fire),” she said.
Long County Commissioner Wallace Shaw, one of the organizers of the forum, said that getting good information out is very important.
“Educating the public about how to prevent fires such as this is crucial. By us having this information, we can be more prepared as property owners to stop it sooner or maybe even prevent it from happening again,” he said.
Ludowici City Councilman Frank McClelland Jr. also attended the forum.
“Informing the community — both adults and children — is a good idea. When you have something like this take place, you see how your life can chance in an instant,” he said.
“Everyone in the community and our neighbors came out to help with this fire. I know I am thankful to each and every one of them and appreciate what they did.”