Southern wildfires create haze of smoke in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) – Authorities say drought-fueled wildfires burning across the South have created a smoky haze over metro Atlanta, and the smell of forest fires from several states is expected to linger.

The National Weather Service says gusty winds from the north are bringing smoke from fires raging in the north Georgia mountains to the metro area and other parts of the state, leading to some reduced visibility.

Wendy Burnett, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Forestry Commission, says the smoky conditions in Georgia are likely a mix of north Georgia fires along with ongoing wildfires in Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Burnett said the largest of the Georgia blazes – the Rough Ridge fire in the Cohutta Wilderness area – has burned 6,400 acres in north Georgia and is only 11 percent contained.