Here's why it's so smoky in metro Atlanta

Smoke from north Ga. fire reaches metro Atlanta

The smoky skies across much of metro Atlanta are thanks to northerly winds driving smoke from wildfires in the north Georgia mountains southward.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City says reduced visibility, smoky smells and some breathing sensitivity is possible across metro Atlanta as the smoke continues to funnel across the area.

Yesterday, Chief Meteorologist Chris Holcomb explained during our newscasts that as the winds shift and come from the north, that smoke from the north Ga, Tennessee and North Caroline wildfires could make it into metro Atlanta.

PHOTOS: Smoke all over metro Atlanta

Extreme to exceptional drought conditions continue to exist across all of north Georgia, and the resulting extra dry fuels have created serious fire danger conditions over the entire area. Keep in mind that any type of outdoor burning is either already locally banned or strongly discouraged. Wildfires can spread very quickly under the dry conditions that we are experiencing.

The Rough Ridge Fire in Fannin County has grown to more than 6,400 acres, and is being managed by crews from local, state and federal agencies. The blaze is only 11 percent contained, according to the US Forest Service, and is expected to continue to grow in size and complexity due to an increase in wind speeds and the the impact on the remote area where it is located.

According to state forestry officials, there is presently no threat to life or personal property, but officials are continuing to monitor the fire and track its progress.

The Fox Mountain Fire in Floyd County is being closely watched for increased activity, and is being managed by federal officials.

Another fire, about 40 acres in size, broke out at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport near Dallas on Tuesday. Georgia Forestry Commission crews, along with Paulding County crews were able to contain the blaze late Tuesday night. Airport operations were not impacted, and continued as normal on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Rough Ridge wildfire

Check the 11Alive StormTrackers forecast now to see if rain is in the forecast.

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(© 2016 WXIA)


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