Ga. firefighters can't battle wildfires without proper boots

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. — A metro Atlanta fire department is not helping fight the south Georgia wildfires — all for the lack of a boot.

Gwinnett County firefighters say they want to help out with the blazes that have roared through south Georgia and north Florida for weeks. But county leaders are still trying to decide whether they can afford the solid leather, lace-up boots they'd need for the job.

Gwinnett County fire chief Steve Rolader says the boots cost about 300 dollars a pair. The U.S. Forest Service requires the boots for firefighters in large wildfires, said Jim Ellison, spokesman for the Georgia Mutual Aid Group, a group of fire departments that helps with emergencies throughout the state.

They're designed to be tall and safe enough for a firefighter in case he steps into a hole that has caught on fire.

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