Haze and Smoke in Middle Georgia

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Do you smell smoke? If so, chances are you’re actually smelling smoke coming from wildfires burning in Georgia and the western Carolinas – over 120 miles away!

A cold front passed through Georgia early yesterday morning, bringing more dry air and wind gusts up to 20 mph. The wind helped push the smoke from the fires down to Atlanta, and now the smoke is moving into the northern portions of middle Georgia.

As the drought worsens across the state of Georgia, containing wildfires is getting harder and harder. Right now, more than 60 percent of the state is experiencing at least a moderate drought. Meanwhile, extreme drought conditions have increased to include just a little more than 40 percent of the state. Much of Middle Georgia is experiencing a severe or extreme drought.

Fire danger conditions across Middle Georgia range from ‘High’ to ‘Extreme’ – not good. A lack in rainfall, low humidity and soil moisture has created a very dry environment. It has been more than a month – 34 days exactly – since we last saw any significant rainfall in Middle Georgia. Temperatures are still running above average, and there is no rain in the forecast for the next several days. These conditions will allow any wildfire that gets started to spread quickly and get out of control.

The best thing to do is avoid burning outdoors until the drought lightens up and we receive more rain. If you do burn outdoors, you need to make sure that the fire is put out completely. This includes smoking cigarettes – fully extinguish the flame before continuing on with your day. Be safe, not sorry.

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