Firefighters work to contain blaze, fresh troops help - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters work to contain blaze, fresh troops help

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April 19, 2007

WAYCROSS, Ga.  - Many fire fighters have spent the night battling the blaze, and now a refreshed group has taken their place. They say it's all about containment. 

Since Wednesday morning, the fire has only spread an additional 5,000 acres. That's good news compared to the growth it had seen since beginning Monday morning. They say a lack of wind has allowed them to get in, wet the area, monitor hot spots and continue fighting the areas that flare back up.

They say their plan of action is to keep the area around the fire wet, which will keep it from spreading. "We just make sure the stuff that hasn't burnt yet is wet," Said Bulloch County Fire Fighter Brandon Neal.  "If you wet it the fire's not going to burn any further and once it's burnt it's not going to burn again so that's what we're going to do is spray water throughout the day."

They will also continue to surround and protect the homes that have not been burned. Despite the size of the fire, they've only lost 14 homes. Wednesday night, they were out late plowing a 12 mile fire break between that fire and the city, just in case it came any closer, but luckily it has not been needed.

Georgia's two U.S. senators announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in response to a request from Governor Perdue, has agreed to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs.

The largest fire ignited Monday when a tree fell on a power line and has blackened about 25,000 acres near Waycross as it raced southwest toward the Okefenokee Swamp.

 While helicopters and an air tanker dropped water and fire retardant on it, another blaze erupted Tuesday near the town of Fargo.

Dubbed the North Fargo Fire, it had spread to 2,200 acres but Eric Mosley of the Georgia Forestry Commission said it was "90 percent contained" by last night, meaning fire lines have been created around 90 percent of the fire.

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The Associated Press Contributed to this report.