Top Stories - Fire Forces Evacuations...

Top Stories - Fire Forces Evacuations in Southeast Georgia

There are 61 comments on the First Coast News Jacksonville story from Apr 16, 2007, titled Top Stories - Fire Forces Evacuations in Southeast Georgia. In it, First Coast News Jacksonville reports that:

Homes have been evacuated in Brantley County due to a fast-moving woods fire. The fire is burning northeast of Nahunta in an area called Kneeknockers.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at First Coast News Jacksonville.


United States

#21 Apr 17, 2007
I have heard so many conflicting stories about ruskin elementary school could someone please let me know if the school has burned down or is there just smoke damage?.I have 3 kids that attended school there and I am out of town working and would like to know if there is school tomorrow, i have called the board of education and they told me they are taking it one day at a time.Could someone please let me know the facts.

United States

#22 Apr 17, 2007
Smallwood wrote:
I have heard so many conflicting stories about ruskin elementary school could someone please let me know if the school has burned down or is there just smoke damage?.I have 3 kids that attended school there and I am out of town working and would like to know if there is school tomorrow, i have called the board of education and they told me they are taking it one day at a time.Could someone please let me know the facts.
Ruskin Elementary School is just smoked damaged! About School tomorrow, just stay on the Jacksonville channel 4 and they will let you know more about it.
Michelle B Sweat

Lenox, GA

#23 Apr 17, 2007
I live in HOmerville The last I heard school in Ware county has been canceled until further notice. That was on the radio around 5pm this afternoon.
Bemiss C 533-Valdosta

Dillon, SC

#24 Apr 17, 2007
SS C11 wrote:
Who is posting from Valdosta?
I'll be out there Thursday from 6am-6pm. I've got some buddies there now, goin tomorrow night, and Thurs. night. To anyone else the firefighters are workin as hard as they can along with GA Forestry and are tryin to save as many structures as possible as well as gettin the fire under control. Be sure to thank one next time you see one.
Michelle B Sweat

Lenox, GA

#25 Apr 17, 2007
Now i hear there is also a fire in Jesup. I know there is one in Fargo GA just across the swamp. Just pray for all the firefighters and pray for RAIN. These fires are bad. The woods are very dry. we have not had rain in Homerville in at least a month.

Brunswick, GA

#26 Apr 17, 2007
My son called me 45 min. ago from Waycross and he is standing in the yard of his friend's mother. She and her two sons are expecting to lose their houses tonight--pray not!! They can see houses in the distance going up in flames. They have an airfield and are praying that the fire won't jump it as it has the roads. My daughter told me 30 min.ago that her husband's three workers (who share a house outside of Waycross) were woke up at 11PM last night and told to get out. The fire was already in their backyard. The CSX(?) yard has been burned to act as a firewall so it won't get into Waycross. Hopefully, my son will call me later tonight and I hope he has better news. Just don't want them trying to save the houses and get trapped .

Since: Apr 07

Brunswick, GA

#27 Apr 17, 2007
Don't know where Dallas, TX came from under my name. I live in Brunswick, GA and also have river property near Nahunta. Will be watching those fires too.

Ada, MI

#28 Apr 17, 2007
To retract something I PERSONALLY posted earlier, and would like to apologize, the ruskin school didn't burn. Apparently my 'reliable" source for that heard from one of HIS reliable sources who heard from...blah blah's still there but heavily smoke damaged. It's easy to see why nobody understands conflicting stories..there's just to dang many OF them. Henceforth, I'm just going to say what "I" was 'told' and please, nobody take it as fact until you confirm it.

I have heard from a person in North Lowndes FD that they're sending more people over, and were supposed to go in the morning, but may go earlier. My in-laws are still intact out swamp road, but he said "it's still burning and it's still bad". That's all he's said. Last report from anyone 'reliable' said that the black smoke was turning to white smoke, whatever that means (i'm told it's good).

Supposedly there was a really big "BOOM" heard from the area of the rice yard, but nobody's confirmed what it was...understood it to be some propane tank going up, but I don't think the fire's gotten that far yet, so might be unrelated. The rice yard (CSX), according to a friend who's father works there is apparently being (or has been) closed down...they made several trips by road to savannah to get drivers to get the tankers out....and they've shut it I can tell you that's the first time in the years I've been associated with waycross that they've done that, and I was there for the after effects of hurricanes that came through it's obviously pretty bad... As I'm typing this the weather channel website says winds are from the EAST...which means it may push it back the other way....and I cant' see that as bad..I'm not a firefighter, know nothing of it, but if it pushes it back the other way, it hits stuff that it's already burned, right...and with nothing left to goes out???? Fill me in? Obviously we have some firefighters on here. And to those wondering "Who is posting from Valdosta", fear not...I'm nobody, just a transplant who took his wife and escaped Waycross 6 years ago because nothing exciting ever happened....I just know a lot of people over there in county government, and have a lot of friends HERE in Law Enforcement and Fire Departments.

Ada, MI

#29 Apr 17, 2007
Actually - this is from the Waycross Journal Herald...which in and of itself isn't known to be the most reliable news source around (A wise man I once worked for in waycross called it the "Mullet Wrapper"), but it's news nonetheless...
"The fire has burned a path three-fourths of a mile wide and nine miles long," Brown said, adding that firefighters now have a "pretty good handle" on it, but that "it has not been contained by any means.
"Georgia Forestry strike teams will be out first thing this morning at good daylight ready to try and pre-empt the fire from getting away again."
Flames came dangerously close Monday to Ruskin Elementary School, the old Ruskin Church and Obediah's Ok'fenok', but all of those structures were saved, said Brown.
Schools in Ware County were closed today.
The fire also threatened the west end of CSX Rice Yard, but Brown said Waycross Fire Chief Cedric Scott and his team of firefighters handled the situation without any damage occurring to the facility.
It was determined early on, Brown said, that the fire definitely started when a tree fell onto a power line between Georgia 122 and the Valdosta Highway (U.S. 84). Sparks set the fire that was quickly drawn into woods nearby by winds clocked up to 39 mph.
The fire jumped Needham Road, Swamp Road and Eight Mile Post Road, he said, heading into Boggy Bay, across swamps and through thick forest.
Firefighters and equipment from 19 different cities and counties responded to a plea for help Monday.
Two helicopters fought the fire from the air and a fixed-wing airplane, a C-130, dropped fire retardant foam on to the fire. All of the aircraft were expected back as soon as daylight broke, Brown said.

Brown said he has "no earthly idea" about any amount of damage or destruction except to say the fire has taken a toll on the area."

He said Ware EMTS stood by throughout the day and night to "rehab our personnel" and help keep them from being overcome.

"And we had a great supply of food and water from all of the merchants in town," Brown said. "They have been wonderful. It's a blessing to live in a community where the merchants come out and assist public safety in a time of need."
Scott said he has been overwhelmed with the community and public support given to all the firefighters and emergency personnel
"We are all grateful for the support of the community," Scott said. "We at the Waycross Fire Department are working in a support role as we have been since Monday afternoon. We had two units on the scene until late in the night in threatened areas in the Swamp Road neighborhood."
Scott said Georgia Forestry was on the scene in the area of Rice Yard this morning plowing fire breaks around the facility in hopes of keeping the flames from threatening the area again.
"Rice Yard was of great concern to us last night," said Scott. "We wanted to do all we could to keep the fire from going in there. We went out there and put large amounts of water, very large amounts, out to prevent the fire from coming in. The wind actually changed directions and helped keep it out of Rice Yard also. It blew the fire back out towards the Valdosta Highway."
Major Royal urges all residents of the affected areas to stay away from their homes until they are given the all clear.
"The safety of our people is the most important thing," Royal said. "Thankfully, we haven't had anyone hurt and haven't had any fatalities from this disastrous event."

Waycross, GA

#30 Apr 17, 2007
Please be advised Valdosta is pretty mixed up. No news is better than wrong news.

Waycross, GA

#31 Apr 17, 2007
That's better Valdosta. Keep your facts straight!

Ada, MI

#32 Apr 17, 2007
listener wrote:
That's better Valdosta. Keep your facts straight!
I'm gonna give up on just about ANYTHING being a "fact'' at this point. Too many people claiming to be "reliable sources". Lord knows, it aint the news sources who are reliable...but yeah...

Ada, MI

#33 Apr 17, 2007
listener wrote:
Please be advised Valdosta is pretty mixed up. No news is better than wrong news.
Yeah..well...when you're getting it through fifteen sources from 75 miles away....that happens LOL..but word of mouth is better than no word I suppose....
Michelle B Sweat

Lenox, GA

#34 Apr 17, 2007
Several roads are closed now Highway 84 past Manor 122 past Cogdell and 441 South of Homerville 441 is due to the fire near Fargo Please pray for everyone in this area.

Waycross, GA

#35 Apr 18, 2007
The news here in Waycross on the radio, said that 10 homes have been lost so far, and it is looking better at this moment, it is buring toward a place that they had a minor fire a few weeks ago and that will help if it continues its current course. Also, one fire fighter broke his leg and is having surgery this am.

Waycross, GA

#36 Apr 18, 2007
Here is our local newspaper story

Waycross, GA

#37 Apr 18, 2007
Does anyone know a site you can go to get a satelite picture of the fires in Georgia?

Since: Apr 07

Blackshear, GA

#38 Apr 20, 2007
I know that Waycross College said they would be closed today, but has anyone heard about OTC? My husban has classes there today, and the canceled last night classes.

Waycross, GA

#39 Apr 20, 2007
My fiance goes to OTC and as far as she knew, they were having classes on Friday

Alpharetta, GA

#40 Apr 22, 2007
My family owns 300 acres along Suwannee Chapel Road down near the intersection with Swamp Road as well as 800+ acres in the swamp along Jordan Ford Rd. Friday night the fire came from behind Suwannee Chapel Church toward the road and burned our 300 acres & all adjoining timber. Despite efforts to keep the fire from jumping Suwannee Chapel Road, it crossed and is heading west/southwest into the swamp. Those that I know living in the area have been evacuated. The fire trucks are surrounding & soaking houses to save them. I've found it difficult to get news other than talking with my cousin on Suwannee Chapel each evening, but here are some on line sources that may be helpful. then click fire situation report
This site had slide photos.

You can do a general google "Ware Co. Georgia fire update" and get some info but it isn't always current.

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