Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services reports that the brush fires burning along the Highway 316 and Interstate 85 are now under control.
“Firefighters converged on the area this afternoon to control what is believed to be 3-5 separate grass fires, with two of the fire areas merging together to form one large area involved,” Capt. Tommy Rutledge, public information officer for GCF&ES said in a press release. “Crews responded to the first report of the fires at 11:54 a.m. The first unit to arrive requested additional equipment due to reports coming in to 9-1-1 of fires in different areas in the same general vicinity. The fires scorched the grass along the Highway 316 Access Road between Boggs Road and Highway 120.”
Rutledge said fire trucks responded to Subaru Dealership where employees had to move vehicles to prevent damage. A few vehicles sustained minor cosmetic damage due to radiant heat, but no injuries were reported.
“Georgia State Patrol and State DOT HERO closed the access road and bridge in order for fire crews to move fire trucks and hose lines in the area to extinguish the fires. It took firefighters close to 1-hour to bring the fires completely under control. Units remain at the scene at this time dousing hotspots,” Rutledge said, adding that crews are working to get the roadway open before the afternoon commute.
Rutledge said the cause of the fire are under investigation and it is not known whether it was intentional or accidental.
“Scenarios include, but are not limited to: a tossed cigarette, car exhaust, sparks from a vehicle chain as it traveled on the access road, etc. Hot embers floating in the air from the original blaze could have also contributed to the multiple spot fires being ignited. Again, the exact cause is currently undetermined and is under investigation,” Rutledge said.
Georgia Forestry was asked to cut a fire break this afternoon to assist the natural fire break created by a nearby creek.