Usually the western fires make more news because they are good photo opportunities.
A brush fire destroyed five homes in an Atlanta subdivision and damaged 12 others over the weekend – even as national media focused on an 8,000-acre Colorado wildfire that destroyed one home.
The Georgia brush fire ignited Sunday afternoon in Forsyth County, in the Manchester Court subdivision near Cumming, after a barbeque grill blew over. Several vehicles were also destroyed by flames, which were fueled by 25-mph wind gusts.
Many people don't realize fire danger is high over vast portions of the country, not just in the west, said Tom Darden of the Georgia Forest Service.
"Usually the western fires make more news because they are good photo opportunities," Darden said. "Generally speaking, we have many more fires and lose more structures in the east than in the west."
Conditions in Georgia are still ripe for more fires, officials warned, and firefighters remained on the scene Monday making sure there weren't further hot spots.
In DeKalb County, Ga., another home was destroyed and two others damaged from another brush fire, and firefighters were still investigating the cause.
Property owners should clear dry bush and check smoke detectors, fire officials warned.
Meanwhile in Florida, a brush fire damaged one home over the weekend in southwest Miami-Dade County, but firefighters expected to extinguish the blaze by late Monday.
The blaze forced evacuation of more than 500 homes for about half the day Sunday. The fire came within several feet of the evacuated communities.
Firefighters also got the best of a blaze near Fort Colllins, Colo., which forced evacuation of about 140 homes over the weekend. One home was destroyed.
The blaze was the state's first significant fire of the season, and Gov. Bill Owens declared a state of emergency.
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