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Wildfires Burn in Georgia

February 12, 2000

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) _ Fires fueled by bone-dry vegetation have burned hundreds of acres, damaging at least two homes and causing a string of auto accidents, including one fatal crash.

February is traditionally the beginning of wildfire season in Georgia. It has the potential to be worse this year, officials said Friday, because the state is still in the midst of a two-year drought with no letup in sight.

Last month, the state had 797 fires that consumed 3,228 acres, well above average.

``That’s what the drought does to you,″ said Allen Dozier, chief of fire protection with the Georgia Forestry Commission. ``Even if we don’t have more fires, the fires we have are more difficult to contain due to the drought.″

State Patrol Sgt. Johnny Cooper said a woman was killed Wednesday when her car struck the rear of a tractor-trailer on a smoky highway in southwest Georgia. It was shut down into Thursday because of smoke.

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