Ware Co. blaze still has the upper hand - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ware Co. blaze still has the upper hand

April 17, 2007

Waycross --  Fire fighters and Forestry officials have now spent over 24 hours battling a massive fire in Ware County.

Windy conditions are keeping that fire going and making it virtually impossible to contain.

As of this morning the fire is covering an area about nine miles long and one mile wide. Emergency Management has evacuated homes in a two mile radius around that fire.

Those evacuees have been directed to Ware County Middle School. Last night they had about 100 evacuees take up residents on cots in the school's gym and fed them thanks to donations from the community and local businesses.

The center will be open tonight as well but they are encouraging anyone who can to try and stay with family and friends in the area.

Now here's an idea of what fire fighters are dealing with. This smoke screen has literally covered the area and inside the smog the visibility is almost zero. 

Fire fighters basically can't see the fire until they're right on top of it.  And once they've contained an area, the wind just fans the flames and starts it back up again.

Right now they only have about 25 percent of the fire contained, even with the help of countless fire departments from around South Georgia who have come to their aid.

Unfortunately, the wind is still blowing strong and they aren't expecting to have this put out any time soon.  Possibly even a few days.

Right now, they believe the fire was caused by a downed power line in Western part of the County that was just picked up and send out of control due to very dry and windy conditions.

Several houses have been destroyed, and many more, including Ruskin Elementary have severe smoke damage but there's really no way to tell how much until the fire is put out.

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