Rough Ridge wildfire burns more than 17,000 acres - CBS46 News

Rough Ridge wildfire burns more than 17,000 acres

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
BLUE RIDGE, GA (CBS46) -

A wildfire burning near Blue Ridge has grown to historic levels. The Rough Ridge fire is now an estimated 17,000 acres and residents in Fannin County are praying for rain.

"This is one of the largest fires, if not the largest fire, in north Georgia history," Pete Kubiak with the Southern Area Gold Team said. "We tried to make an attempt to catch the fire early when it was small, and first started from a lightning strike, but since then the risk for our folks to go in there because of the terrain and distances was too high."

"I was worried," said resident Bill Prather, who has a cabin near the fire in the Cohutta wilderness.  "The forest service guys have this thing under control."

Fire crews tell CBS46 the eastern slope of the flames appear to be mostly contained but there are concerns it could spread west.

An estimated 100 homes are in danger because of the fire, workers said.

At least one firefighter suffered a minor injury.

The fire is about 20 percent contained.

Rock Mountain fire

Meanwhile, there is another fire burning in the northeast Georgia mountains. The Rock Mountain fire is burning near the city of Clayton and only 10 percent is contained.

A special service was held Sunday night at Liberty Baptist Church where attendees hoped the power of God would help bring rain to the area.

So far, about 4,000 acres have burned. Law enforcement believes an arsonist started the fire last week.

Pete Kubiak, Operation Section Chief with the Southern Area Gold Team talks about the wildfire

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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