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Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 9:23am

Dry Spell Prompts Wildfire Threat

The state climatologist says dry conditions will worsen over the next few weeks. The dry spell coincides with the ending of the burn ban which concerns officials.

Wildfire season begins in the fall when the leaves drop and there’s more fuel on the ground to spread a fire.

The season could come earlier this year as stressed out trees shed leaves sooner says Alan Dozier with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

He says, also around the corner is the end of a burn ban put in place in metro areas to improve air quality.

"It looks like we’re going to be unfortunate this year. That ban is going to come to end right in a dry spell and we’re going to have to be real conservative on issuing permits and those who did get permits to burn are going to have to be very careful," says Dozier.

The burn ban ends September 30 in 54 counties. Dozier reminds that everyone needs a permit to burn outdoors.

According to a report from the National Drought Mitigation Center, nearly 40 percent of the state is in a moderate drought and more than 90 percent of Georgia is abnormally dry.