Smoke from wildfire causes concern for nearby residents

HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) - Residents can see a big, dark cloud of smoke rising up to the sky from inside a wooded area in Hinesville.

The fire's about a quarter of a mile inside the Terrell Mill Pond area, which is surrounded by homes and business along highways 196 and 119.

Officials say lightening struck the area Tuesday causing a couple of acres to initially burn. Since then, they've been out keeping a close eye on the situation.

"It had rained on it and there was no active flame at the time. It rained probably two inches on it Wednesday. We checked it yesterday and it was still smoking so we knew we were going to have to do something with it. That's why we started making plans for a helicopter and all that," said Chief Ranger David Duke with Georgia Forestry Commission.

The location of the fire is giving officials a tough time. It's burning in a peat bog, meaning it's hard getting heavy equipment into that area because it may get stuck, which happened to officials earlier in the day.

Eventually crews were able to move into the area and cut a few fire breaks. Now, officials say although it's still burning they have the fire under control.

The Hinesville Fire Department says resident have nothing to worry about at this time. Crews are back out at the scene surveying and dumping water on the burning area.

Officials are also now asking people to avoid the highways near the fire area so they can keep working hard to put that fire out through the heavy smoke.

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