Firefighters battling Dooly County wildfire
DOOLY CO., GA (WALB) - Heavy smoke from the Dooly County wild fire could be seen for miles. Folks traveling on I-75 were urged to slow down as the smoke passed over the busy interstate.
"This smoke is actively blanketing 9 counties in the state of Georgia," says Robert Carswell with the Georgia Fire Commission.
Officials say it all started two days ago when they got the call about a Cypress tree swamp that had caught on fire.
"About 7 o'clock Friday night fire was reported back over here on the north side of the road," says Carswell.
That's when the Dooly County Fire Department and the Georgia Fire Commission began the process of putting out what was then a small wildfire about 2 miles east of Pinehurst.
But the fire quickly grew as the days progressed. By 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon the blazed had jumped across the Hawkinsville Road to the neighboring swamp area.
"We did have the strong winds in the late afternoon that blew the fire bands across the road and ignited the swamp and continued burning," says Carswell.
Officials say the high winds combined with the low humidity made the fire hard to contained. An estimated 150 acres of natural swamp lands have been destroyed. But officials say they're confident the fire won't spread any further.
"It's just bare dirt. There's nothing really to threaten. The only thing that is going to burn is the swamp out there," says Carswell.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire late Sunday afternoon, but now they're warning nearby cities to watch out for heavy smoke on the roads.
"Some log piles or some heavy vegetation is still smoldering inside the fire and that's the reason that you've still got smoke rising."
That rising smoke is expected to settle Sunday night and could cause major visibility problems for motorists.
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