LUDOWICI, GA (WTOC) - Crews from 20 departments are battling a fire in Ludowici.
Ludowici police said the fire at U.S. Highway 84 and Elim Church Road has spread at least 7 to 8 miles. U.S. Highway 84 is closed on the Jesup side as well as up to Elim Church Road on the Long County side.
Darrell Ballance, director of Long County Emergency Management Agency, said they do not have a handle on the fire and that it is out of control. It started out as a controlled burn, turned into a small brush fire, and the wind picked it up.
The winds are making the fight extremely difficult for firefighters. They are attacking different spots and plan to remain at the scene throughout the night. Electricity had to be cut from some poles because the fire has jumped onto the power lines.
The fire keeps jumping over U.S. Highway 84. The wind is shifting, steering the course of the fire toward Ludowici. People are trucking water from eight different counties. The Dept. of Corrections is also responding. Authorities are asking that people not show up voluntarily to help with the firefighting efforts.
Ballance said they have evacuated certain areas and 100 homes are effected. Some areas have lost power. They have trucks trying to protect most structures.
The fire is headed toward a subdivision outside of Ludowici which is a major concern. Officials are evacuating Mill Pond Subdivision and sending residents to Long County High School.
The Coastal Manor Nursing Home evacuated residents to the First Baptist Church in Ludowici on Highway 301. For further info, people can contact the church at 912.545.2322 or Pastor Eric Rentz at 912.690.0918.
Long State Prison is being evacuated. Prisoners are being transported to the state prison in Reidsville.
Superintendent Robert Waters of the Long County School System said that the school district will be closed Friday due to the wildfires.
There is no confirmation of damages. The command center has moved to Elim Church Road.