Department battles series of brush fires

LAWRENCEVILLE - Firefighters battled a series of unexplained brush fires along Interstate 85 southbound Saturday afternoon, and the cause of the fires is still under investigation.

Lt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department, said multiple units responded just after 4 p.m. to three brush fires in the Buford and Braselton areas.

The largest of the three fires occurred on the interstate near Ga. Highway 211 in Braselton, where approximately an acre of wooded area was burned, Rutledge said.

At the request of the Fire Department, the Georgia Forestry Commission responded to plow a "fire break" around the area to contain the fire, Rutledge said.

At about the same time, two smaller fires were found burning along the interstate at Hamilton Mill Road in Buford, one north of the road at the exit ramp and another just south of Hamilton Mill.

Firefighters closed one lane of southbound interstate traffic during the brush fires, but it reopened later in the evening.

The fires were under control at about 5 p.m., but crews were wetting down hot spots until 6:26 p.m.

No injuries were reported, and no property was destroyed in any of the three fires.