In consultation with Georgia Forestry Commission, Chatham Emergency Management Agency, and the Tybee Island Fire Department, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA DNR) elected to allow Sunday’s wildfire to burn one of the small hammocks that make up the Little Tybee Island complex.
The dune and edge maritime forest habitat of Coastal Georgia have evolved to benefit from periodic fire and other disturbances such as hurricane force winds and floods. Biologists call these ‘Early Successional’ habitats, and they are some of the most biodiverse, important environs on the Georgia Coast.
Little Tybee Island is a designated Natural Area, which has specific legal implications, and it is also under a perpetual easement by The Nature Conservancy. Those require that GA DNR manage the island in certain ways, dedicated primarily to wildlife, and that management includes fire (if safety is not compromised). Preferentially this is accomplished through controlled burning, not wildfire that can be damaging and dangerous if atmospheric conditions are not optimal.
For more information, please contact:
Jason Lee, Program Manager, Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Resources Division
Email: Jason.Lee@dnr.ga.gov | Phone: (912) 262-3128 | Fax: (912) 262-3131