View Mobile Site

Related Articles

Friends to Follow

Firefighters have contained 70 percent of wildfire

Text Size: Small Large Medium

    WAYCROSS - Firefighters have managed to contain about 70 percent of the largest wildfire in Georgia history, which has consumed 82,000 acres of Ware County forest and swampland in nearly two weeks, officials said Sunday night.

A few families remain evacuated across U.S. Highway 1 from the main blaze, where smaller spot fires ignited this weekend, said Georgia Forestry Commission spokeswoman Susan Reisch. While firefighters continue to patrol the affected 16-mile stretch of highway that remains closed, the wildfire hasn't spread across it to miles of tinder-dry forest.

Buzz Weiss, spokesman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, said officials are concerned that low humidity will create a dangerous situation on Monday. Schools in Ware County will open an hour later than usual and schools in Charlton County will be closed all day, Weiss said.

Still, strong winds gusting to 15 miles per hour and extreme drought conditions with no rain in the forecast mean the fire will continue to rage for at least another week, Reisch said.

Two more wildfires that broke out early Sunday morning in counties near the main fire _ one in Charlton County near the line with Ware County and one on the line of Brantley and Glynn counties _ were not connected with the wildfire near Waycross, Reisch said.

Firefighters were working to contain them as well and at least nine families were evacuated from Charlton County, Weiss said.

Meanwhile, a fire that broke out late Saturday in an Atkinson County peat bog about 30 miles west of Waycross grew to 3,500 acres, Weiss said.

With no rain in the forecast, firefighters are fighting "an uphill battle," Weiss said.

"Our biggest enemy continues to be the weather," Weiss said.

He said GEMA has been pleased that there are no reports of a significant upturn of people going to hospitals because of the smoke, apparently staying indoors and protecting themselves while outside.

The fire began on April 16.

  • Bookmark and Share

SUBSCRIBE to the Statesboro Herald print edition or online e-Edition and get EXCLUSIVE news and information online with complete access to all complete stories on Now you'll have Soundoff, Local Birth Announcements and columnists like Jan Moore, Phil Boyum, Roger Allen, John Bressler and Holli Bragg. Also, Letters to the Editor, Local Editorials and many new exclusive items will all be there just for you! And, when you're away from home, you can read the paper page by page anywhere, anytime from your computer with your subscription.



Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...