“Unhealthy” Air Quality in Northeast Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — Smoke continued to spread across Northeast Georgia Wednesday morning, obscuring the blue sky and causing health problems for people with asthma or lung conditions.

In Rabun County, Georgia, the sheriff’s office is investigating two possible arson fires, including the so-called Rock Mountain Fire, which is listed as a “large fire” by the USDA Forest Service, according to Chief Investigator Jack Tanksley.

Michael Becker from the Georgia Forestry Commission said that the winds today are west winds. This means that the wind will drift from the west to the east. He also stated that the winds will shift tonight to northwest winds. This means the winds will come from the northwest and drift towards the southeast. This means that the smoke might remain for a couple of days.

Fires in Georgia on Nov. 14 (from USDA)

The National Weather Service said in a special statement Wednesday morning that air quality was expected to remain “unhealthy” for most of the day. They also said that the smoke might dissipate some on Thursday and Friday, but shifting winds would bring it back during the weekend.

The United State Department of Agriculture Forest Service said Wednesday morning that there are 35 “large uncontained fires,” in the southeast, and that no large fires have been contained yet.

Stay with Grady Newsource for updates, and tune in to Grady Newsource tonight at 5:00 tonight for a live report from the one of the fires and a special weather report on air quality and fire outlook.

By: Dillon Richards and Molly Swindall


This article has been updated to include information from the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office.

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