Smoke from Georgia wildfires hangs over Jacksonville

By Calvin Palmer

I can taste smoke, not the rich tobacco smoke of a Winston cigarette but acrid wood smoke from one of the many wildfires burning in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.

A haze hangs over Jacksonville today, the result of northerly winds carrying smoke and ash from wildfires in the Okefenokee Swamp areas of Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.

Haze hangs over College Street, Riverside, Jacksonville. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

For the past two days, the sky over Jacksonville has been a yellowish grey rather than the azure sky one normally associates with the Sunshine State.

The National Weather Service forecasts the wind to change direction in the next couple of days and blow from the south. But that will bring little relief. To the south of Jacksonville an area of wildfires extends from Orange County to St Johns County, with a particularly heavy concentration of wildfires in Flagler County.The smoke and ash being blown in from Georgia will simply be replaced by Florida’s own.

On Monday, Gov Rick Scott declared a state of emergency. This morning 429 wildfires are burning throughout the state.

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