Wildfire No Longer Threatening Smith Creek Community

The fire has charred nearly 9,000 acres in the Apalachicola National Forest and firefighters say it could cover 25,000 acres before it's done.

Helicopters toting hundreds of gallons of water are dumping their loads near the fire line and hot shot firefighters from as far away as Illinois are trying to contain the crackling flames.

Right now the flames are confined to the Bradwell Bay wilderness area. Firefighters are actually riding along in ATVs, setting fire to the perimeter in hopes that by the time hungry flames reach here they'll run out of tree stumps and underbrush to eat.

Marcus Beard, District Ranger, says, "We're trying to put black to blacken as much ground as possible between here and the other main fire. So once it's safe and we're not worried about it spotting over the roads and stuff, we'll use a helicopter to ignite the interior and just burn the whole thing out."

The fire is about 40 percent contained and the Smith Creek community is now out of danger, but the fire continues to burn and folks in Crawfordville and Tallahassee should expect a blanket of smoke this weekend.

Despite forecasts for rain Sunday and Monday the fire crew’s commander says it won't be enough to put the fire out, and a quick note for folks near Sopchoppy, Forest Highway 13 will be closed this weekend from Highway 275 to Pope Still Hunt Camp, and Forest Road 346 will be closed at the Sopchoppy city limits Saturday.