Rabun County fires lead to evacuations; Arsonist sought - CBS46 News

Rabun County fires lead to evacuations; Arsonist sought

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Rabun County Fire (Source: WGCL) Rabun County Fire (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

More than 2600 acres have been burned in Rabun County.

Over 50 Rabun County firefighters are working to contain fires on Highway 28 and Tallulah River Road with the help of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Friday, the U.S. Forest Service has ordered a mandatory evacuation for Coleman River Road and Nichols Branch Road in Rabun County due to the ongoing wildfire. The fire jumped containment lines on Friday due to winds. A shelter is being provided for displaced residents at Liberty Baptist Church.

"We have cots and we're going to have a shower truck and a full on portable kitchen being brought in by the Southern Baptist Convention in order to help cook and have a place for the firefighters to come or for families that are being evacuated," said volunteer Brian Caventer.

The Rock Mountain and Flat Branch fires, burning on the east and west sides, respectively, of Tate City road have both burned nearly 300 acres in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Neither is fully contained.

Highway 28 is closed all the way to the South Carolina state line on Warwoman Road. Residents are being escorted in and out by the USFS.

Tallulah River Road remain open. However, the USFS advise drivers to drive with caution through the "smoky area."

Authorities believe these fires are not wildfires but instead a cause of arson. They are currently looking for a white male driving a dark blue SUV.

If you see this suspicious vehicle, police ask that you call 911. 

Copyright 2016 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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DROUGHT IN GEORGIA
BY THE NUMBERS

Days without measurable rainfall

40+ days

Acres burned in Georgia

~33,000

Population in drought areas

8.7 million