FORSYTH, Ga. — Like lots of Central Georgians, Danielle Kingsbury saw smoke in the air Wednesday night and wasn't sure where it was coming from.
"As I was driving up Riverside, ahead of me, all the skies were clear, and then there was this kind of gray, ominous-looking sky. I thought maybe there was a storm coming or something like that," said Kingsbury.
This smoke came from a number of prescribed burns in forests around the area. Kingsbury says it would be helpful if the public knew more about these burns before they happen. "You want to trust everybody, but just to understand a little bit more about the details and safety of it."
The Georgia Forestry Commission says this is prime weather for controlled fires, which is why they're all happening around the same time. Wendy Burnett with the commission blames it on all the recent rain. "We've had a lot of rain recently, and that's the reason that people are seeing a lot of burning this week and you're noticing a lot of smoke this week is because it's just been so wet. People haven't been able to get their prescribed burning done."
Now that it's dry out, the Forestry Commission has approved more burning permits this week, and Burnett says the environment relies on it. "Wildlife species depend on it, many plant species also depend on it, and again, you have to go back to the number one reason we prescribe burn and that's to reduce the risk of deadly wildfires moving forward."
The burning is not limited to parks or forests. Some farmers have controlled burns to get ready for new crops. Georgia Forestry says with the weather forecast clear, you can expect to see smoke around Macon through the rest of the week and the weekend.