More than 500 firefighters from across the country are helping to battle the massive wildfire in Florida and Georgia known as the Bugaboo fire.
The blaze has scorched nearly 250,000 acres.
On Monday, 25-mph winds lifted the smoke but drove the fire ever closer to the North Florida community of Lake City. At one point, it broke through a containment line.
Analeasa Winter, a spokeswoman for the Division of Forestry, said every resource available is being used to keep the flames away from homes.
"We've got lines of metal and steel up and down this road waiting to help defend," Winter said. "If it jumps over, they'll plow it out. They're working there. The aircraft are working. So they're hitting it really hard with everything we have."
Monday night, about 300 residents filled a school board auditorium, waiting to know just how much closer the fire will get. Diana Waters was worried about her sister and brother-in-law, who live in the forest near the fire.
"They won't leave," Waters said. "He said he built that house with his two hands, and he's going to protect it with his two hands."
The fire had crept to within three-quarters of a mile from the house, Waters said.
National Weather Service forecasters say windy conditions will continue to challenge firefighting efforts throughout the week.
Donna Green-Townsend reports for member station WUFT in Lake City, Fla.