Ga. Firefighters to Use Mowers For Firefighting

April 17, 2013
The Georgia Forestry Commission has purchased six heavy mowers it plans to use for fighting or defending against wildfires.

April 17--A Brunswick company is doing its part to help fight forest fires.

Kut Kwick, a manufacturer of heavy mowers and other machinery on Newcastle Street, has produced a specialized machine that is an effective weapon in fighting or defending against wildfires.

The equipment has more than just piqued the interest of the Georgia Forestry Commission. It's sold on it.

"The forestry department recognized that they really need to get these," said Bob Torras Sr., owner and president of Kut Kwick on Newcastle Street. "These things can save them a tremendous amount of money every year in stopping fires."

It's another tool in the commission's arsenal, said Eric Mosley, wildfire mitigation specialist with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The state agency tested the machines for about two years and purchased six in the past month.

"Their job is to go into a forest, especially a forest that has not been thinned or has not been maintained (by controlled burns), and allow us to reduce the fuel, which is really the vegetation in the understory of the forest," Mosley said.

The machines were helpful during the Okefenokee Swamp wildfire in 2012, reducing forest undergrowth to small cuttings that are deprived of oxygen.

"It's a brand new thing that ought to be very great for the state of Georgia and everywhere else that's battling forest fires," Torras said.

The product has also been used by the Florida Commission of Forestry, as well as in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

In Georgia, the forestry commission plans to offer the land clearing machines to owners of properties at risk of wildfire.

"A landowner can request this unit to come in at a fee, and they will go in and do the brush master work wherever the land owner chooses," Mosley said.

-- Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at [email protected], on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.

Copyright 2013 - The Brunswick News, Ga.

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