Georgia’s persistent drought is continuing to serve as fuel for several fires in north Georgia.
According to forestry officials, the Rough Ridge Fire burning in the Cohutta Wilderness area of the Chattahoochee National Forest has expanded even further. Officials said the fire crossed the Rough Creek Sunday and is burning upslope toward the East Cowpen Trial. The fire, which was started on Oct. 16 because of a lightning strike, has so far burned more than 4,300 acres.
Because of rough terrain firefighters are facing, crews are heavily monitoring the fire using infrared flights and using fire lines to control it, but are allowing it to “accomplish its natural ecological role.” So far, it’s about 10 percent contained.
Meanwhile, about 70 miles away, a fire at Lookout Mountain near the Tennessee border continues to grow. That fire has burned about 175 acres, but has the potential to expand, officials said. No homes have been evacuated, but fire officials have made residents aware of the situation.
Smoke from fires in Georgia and other neighboring states will continue to affect the air quality of the area and could also affect visibility for drivers.
Burn bans are still in effect for several counties of north Georgia, including Fannin and Gilmer Counties, but because of the continuing dry weather, officials expect the fire will continue to burn with the possibility for hot spots to reignite.
PHOTOS | Rough Ridge wildfire