Wind Shift Drives Georgia Wildfire Smoke Through State And Into Tennessee

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 7:39 pm
By: News On 6

WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) _ An overnight wind shift drove smoke from the wildfire in southeast Georgia to Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn., officials said Sunday.

The wildfire, believed to have started from a downed power line on April 16, is 30%contained, but continues to spread, Sharon Dolliver of the Georgia Forestry Commission said. Another 10,000 acres burned Sunday and the total burn is 55,000 acres, or 85 square miles.

Another commission spokesman, Eric Mosley, said firefighters were able to get a lot accomplished Sunday.

``We were able to get a lot of firebreaks laid,'' Mosley said. ``Unfortunately we have to work with the weather. We are really just praying for rain.''

The fire destroyed about 18 homes and forced 1,000 people to evacuate earlier this week. Another 5,000 more were urged to evacuate their homes voluntarily on Friday because of potential health hazards from heavy smoke blowing into Waycross.