Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) employees working throughout “Area 9, Camilla,” a 15-county region in the southwest part of the state, have earned the agency’s “Area of the Year” award.
The annual honor is given by the GFC’s Forest Protection Department, which manages wildfire readiness throughout the state. Criteria were measured in the categories of performance and productivity, safety, and achievements.
“Under the guidance of Area Fire Management Officer Darren Martin, this team demonstrated remarkable accomplishments during a time when normal operations were anything but normal,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, vacancies, and restrictions, this team earned impeccable marks across the board and is most deserving of this recognition.”
The Area team is commended for maintaining average wildfire sizes below five acres and for prompt and appropriate responses to reported wildfires with an under-five-minute-average response time. Area 9 employees completed more firebreak installation services for landowners than any other GFC Area and they maintained a 99% implementation score for protecting water quality from rainwater run-off into streams, rivers, and lakes through the installation of Best Management Practices. They served as subject matter experts at prescribed fire events, saved $271,000 in agency funds through their skilled management of construction projects, and served in wildland suppression firefighting capacities out west last summer.
“The GFC bar is set high,” said Lowrimore. “Many of our team members made exceptional strides last year, and it’s clear Area 9 personnel have a steadfast focus on high-quality service to the State of Georgia.”
For more information about services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.