Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spot fires ignite across highway from wildfire

April 29, 2007

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— A few spot fires ignited Saturday afternoon across a highway from a massive wildfire and firefighters struggled to put them out before they could spread in the miles of tinder-dry forest beyond.

Several rural homes near the new fires were being evacuated Saturday evening, Georgia Forestry Commission spokesman Eric Mosley said.

About 30 miles from Waycross, another fire broke out late Saturday in Atkinson County and burned at least 700 acres, said Buzz Weiss, spokesman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. It posed no immediate threat to people living in the area.

The larger fire has consumed nearly 100 square miles of drought-parched forest and swampland in southeastern Georgia since it ignited April 16.

Firefighters were patrolling a 16-mile stretch of U.S. 1, which links Waycross with Jacksonville, Fla., and set controlled burns to prevent the blaze from spreading into acres of forest beyond the road. The highway remained closed.

"We are still in the throes of a very, very difficult effort and we anticipate this fire burning intensely for at least another week - and maybe another month," Weiss said.

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