Firefighters making progress on Talladega wildfire
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Nov 14, 2013 | 4019 views |  0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeff Parris of Rabbittown Road watches the smoke on Wednesday from a wildfire in the Talladega National Forest. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Jeff Parris of Rabbittown Road watches the smoke on Wednesday from a wildfire in the Talladega National Forest. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
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Firefighters Thursday slowed the growth of a wildfire in Talladega National Forest, a federal forestry spokesman said.

Bobby Kitchens, a public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, said Thursday afternoon that firefighters made progress containing the blaze in the Dugger Mountain Wilderness in Calhoun County, despite dry conditions.

The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the Calhoun County area Thursday, meaning the combination of strong winds and low humidity could create favorable conditions for fires.

"The fire has not burned nearly as intensely (Thursday) as it has the last two days," Kitchens said. "We've built control lines and that has really helped."

According to a press release from the Forest Service, the wildfire had consumed about 319 acres as of Thursday morning and could expand to 566 acres. The release states that firefighters had established control lines for the estimated 566 acres, however, the lines required improvement and maintenance.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters have battled the blaze since Sunday evening. Since that time, the wildfire crew has grown to approximately 50 firefighters and support staff, including one helicopter and two bulldozers. Also, a section of the Pinhoti Trail within the wilderness boundary has been closed until further notice.

The press release states that the containment and control lines are designed to keep the fire north of Rabbittown Road, where there are several homes. Also, contingency lines are being built around private land near the fire in case it escapes the control lines.

"Right now there is no imminent threat to private property and my best guess is it'll stay that way," Kitchens said.

Motorists traveling along Rabbittown Road are urged to use caution due to firefighter traffic and potential smoke on the road, especially at night.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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