CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Firefighters across the metro area are warning of an increasing fire threat.
Georgia forestry officials spent most of the day Sunday putting out about 10 acres of wildfire in Cherokee County.
The statewide drought and dry conditions are contributing to fires, officials say.
The Georgia Forestry Commission tells Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls they have responded to 92 wildfires since Friday morning. %
They also responded to 16 illegal burns during that time -- reminding people that permits are not being issued for most of the state because it isn't safe to burn now.
GFC chief ranger Mark Munns says in his 25 years on the job, he's never seen a drought this bad, and the dry conditions have made the fires much harder to fight.
"The ignition components of everything being so high, (with) any little spark starting a fire, I'm afraid we possibly could lose more homes to forest fires this year, and we're definitely going to lose a lot more forests," Munns said. "This is the worst year I've seen in northwest Georgia.'
Munns said he's worried the commission will run out of resources if rain doesn't come soon.
"Ten acres under these conditions are just as hard to put out a fire that's 50 or 60 acres under normal conditions,' Munns said.
He said an airplane will fly over the forest in Cherokee County daily until the rain comes to make sure the fire doesn't rekindle.
Firefighters are battling a massive fire on Rocky Face Mountain in Whitfield County.
The burning started Saturday, and Sunday afternoon the flames threatened two homes.
The commission is asking visitors to avoid the mountain as firefighters work.
The record-breaking heat and dry conditions are expected to hang around through Election Day.
It was 75 degrees in Atlanta, 59 degrees in Blairsville and 74 degrees in Griffin shortly after 11 a.m.
Walls said the record of 83 degrees, which was set in 1998, was broken by a few degrees Sunday, with temperatures reaching 86 degrees.
The high of 85 degrees on Oct. 31 was set in 1961, and Monday’s expected high of 86 degrees would break that record too.
While a cold front may bring temperatures down a bit in coming days, they are expected to be unseasonably high.
Tuesday’s high is forecasted to reach 79 degrees, but by Thursday, the high is expected to be back in the low 80s.
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