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1,600-acre fire under control
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After five days of battling a forest fire that consumed an estimated 1,600 acres in Long County, firefighters began to wrap things up Monday night and go home.
“Gum Branch, Bryan and the Reidsville Prison (fire departments) just left,” Ludowici/Long County Fire Chief Darrell Ballance said at the scene, “Right now the only ones who are left are a few of us, and the (Georgia) Forestry units.”
The fire started Thursday in the area of Highway 261, and kept departments throughout the area busy assisting L/LCFD and the Georgia Forestry Commission.
“Right now, we only have hot spots, and they are all inside the fire breaks. We are still shuttling water back and fourth, but it looks like all of this will be over by noon tomorrow (Tuesday)," Ballance said.
He noted there were still about 60 forestry workers and 10 of his firefighters who would work the scene through Tuesday. However, he said, unless something dramatic changed, everything would be broke down at noon, and all the units would head home.
Ballance said even though the fire was nearly out and contained to the breaks, people should refrain from burning anything because of the dry conditions.
He expressed appreciation for the help that was given to his department, saying, “We really appreciate all the help. Some of these guys haven’t stopped since this began and I really want to thank everyone for what they did.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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