Brush fires slow Interstate 75 traffic in Bibb County, Forsyth

Fire officials responded to several grass fires Tuesday along northbound Interstate 75 between Bass Road in Bibb County and Juliette Road/Tift College Drive in Forsyth, according to authorities.

About 4:05 p.m., the Monroe County Fire Department began receiving reports of seven to eight brush fires burning along the interstate, said Shane Cook, fire department spokesman.

Firefighters located only three fires, he said. One near New Forsyth Road was the largest of the burns and caused local authorities to call in officials from the Georgia Forestry Commission. By 4:50 p.m., all but that incident had been contained, Cook said. Five fire engines and a water tanker were called in from the two counties, according to the departments.

Authorities had not determined how the fires began, Cook said.

“We don’t really have a reason as to why they started. But they don’t seem suspicious” he said. “As a safety precaution, we want to remind drivers not to throw cigarette butts out of the window. One, it is littering. Two, it can cause grass fires.”

Lanes on I-75 remained open while authorities handled the fires, but traffic was slowed, Cook said.