The Rough Ridge fire has ripped through more than 20,000 acres in the Cohutta Wilderness area in Fannin County, U.S. Forest Service officials said. It led to a total fire ban in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest and smoke drifting into metro Atlanta areas that isn't expected to clear anytime soon.
“This is the worst that we’ve seen in the northwestern part of the state probably in about a decade,” Burnett said.
Efforts to cap flames involved more than 200 people focused on the west and southwest sides of the fire Monday.
Susan Blake, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Forest Service, said crews worked along natural barriers, including streams and creeks. Their goal is to prevent the fire from moving westward.
“And that’s a continual job,” she said.
The fire was 20 percent contained Monday, and no one had evacuated the area.
Meanwhile, the Rock Mountain fire in Rabun County led to an order asking that 14 to 20 residences in the area be evacuated.