When you think of brush fires, what comes to mind first? You likely consider this a problem mainly in the western part of the U.S. It’s not surprising considering how wildfires in California have been such a problem in recent years.

This past weekend reminded us all that we have plenty of land in Glynn County that can catch fire.

Glynn County firefighters, along with help from their colleagues with the McIntosh County and Darien fire departments and the State Division of Forestry, battled a blaze Sunday and Monday in a wooded area off Ga. 99 in the northern part of the county. When all was said and done, about 150 acres burned.

Thankfully that total doesn’t include any homes, though Glynn County Fire-Rescue Chief R.K. Jordan said the fire did get within 30 feet of homes before firefighters were able to push it back. To put just how close 30 feet is in context, that is the equivalent of 10 yards — or one first down in football terms.

We are grateful for the work of all the Glynn County firefighters who helped get the blaze under control and thankful for the help sent by our neighbors in McIntosh County and the Forestry division. Kudos also go to the Camden County firefighters who covered Glynn County stations while firefighters worked to contain the fire.

A cause for this weekend’s fire hasn’t been released yet. Even if there is a natural cause, now is a good time to remind people of some basic rules that can help prevent future fires.

If you have a fire while camping in the woods, be sure to extinguish it completely before leaving it unattended. Pour water onto the fire until it stops hissing to drown all the embers.

If you don’t have water, stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire. Either way make sure no embers are smoldering before you leave.

Careless actions like tossing out cigarette butts can also lead to fires. Cigarettes should be disposed of properly in an ashtray or receptacle, not on the ground.

You can find more fire safety tips at www.smokeybear.com. To paraphrase the fire safety icon himself, only we can prevent most forest fires. While we might not be able to stop one caused by lightning, we certainly have the capacity to prevent fires caused by careless actions.

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