Smoke-closed Roads are re-opened - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Smoke-closed Roads are re-opened

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Atkinson County, GA - (WALB) -  The DOT says that several roads that were closed by smoke from a wildfire are now open.

The Georgia Department of Transportation closed several state routes in Atkinson, Coffee and Berrien counties due to smoke from a fire in and around The Arabia Swamp located in Clinch County.

The following roads were closed and will most likely experience smoke problems again Tuesday:

Atkinson Counties

U.S. 82/S.R. 520 has been closed between S.R. 135 in Willacoochee and U.S. 221/S.R. 31 in Pearson.

Atkinson and Coffee Counties

State Route 135 has been closed from U.S. 82/ S.R. 520 in Willacoochee and U.S. 441 in Douglas.

Coffee, Atkinson and Berrien Counties

State Route 158 has been closed between S.R. 206 in Douglas and U.S. 129/S.R. 11 in Berrien County.

 

Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about this or any other construction project on interstates and state routes. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, and delays due to inclement weather.

Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.

In Atkinson county the Sheriff's office is reporting multiple wrecks including a five-vehicle pile up. Also a deputy was just rear-ended. EMS is having trouble responding because of the smoke and fog.

 The DOT is asking drivers to stay off the roads in affected counties if possible and keep your flashers on if you are already on the highway.

The Forestry Commission says the Arabia Swamp fire in Clinch County is now 650 acres wide. The department installed more fire breaks over the weekend but believe the fire will burn 6,000 acres before it is finished. Monday an incident command team with the Georgia Forestry Commission arrived in Clinch County to help the local agencies.

The cold front is causing a shift in the wind creating even more of a smoke hazard for counties north of the fire, especially Atkinson, Coffee and Tift Counties.

Use caution if you are driving in Clinch, Lanier, Lowndes, Cook, Echols, Berrien, Atkinson, Tift, Ware and Charlton counties Monday morning. Visibility is low because of a mix of fog and heavy smoke from the Arabia Swamp forest fire in Clinch County. The wildfire continues to spread.

Coffee county officials reported several wrecks because of the wildfire smoke Monday morning and say school buses were delayed. Coffee county school officials say if students are late due to the smoke and fog, they will not be counted tardy.