Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Surrounded; Fires Push Smoke on City; Advisories Issued for Kids, Seniors; Forecasters Point to Weekend Rain

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Surrounded; Fires Push Smoke on City; Advisories Issued for Kids, Seniors; Forecasters Point to Weekend Rain

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Schoettler

Thick smoke drifting from raging wildfires in Southeast Georgia blanketed swaths of Northeast Florida for much of Tuesday, causing low visibility and health warnings.

Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties were under a dense smoke advisory most of the day, though it was lifted as visibility improved. The warning was issued by the National Weather Service as well over 240 wildfires burning within a 50-mile radius of Jacksonville, with others erupting routinely.

Similar advisories were issued for Camden and Charlton counties in Southeast Georgia. Forecasters predicted more of the same for today.

"It's hazy just about everywhere," said Marie Trabert, a meteorologist with the Weather Service.

Forecasters said northwest winds today and west winds Thursday will push smoke offshore, but seabreezes will bring it back. The pattern won't change much Friday, though winds will be from the south, Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Shashy said.

Jacksonville's Environmental and Compliance Department issued an air quality advisory Tuesday morning, citing "elevated levels of particulate matter" from the smoke. Children, seniors and others sensitive to the smoke were warned to stay inside or avoid strenuous outdoor activity.

Smoke from massive fires in Southeast Georgia, including the more than 260,000-acre Honey Prairie Fire, drifted east-southeastward toward the coast. Visibility was no more than a quarter of a mile in some areas near fires and the Intracostal Waterway.

Jacksonville firefighters responded to numerous reports of small fires and smoke throughout the day. A thick haze that coated the area also grounded the Sheriff's Office helicopter and one belonging to Trauma One.

A bit further to the northwest, firefighters were mourning the death of two fallen comrades who perished fighting a Hamilton County fire. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.