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Blaze Challenges Crews in Georgia, Florida

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Blaze Challenges Crews in Georgia, Florida

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Blaze Challenges Crews in Georgia, Florida

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Renee Montagne is away. I'm Steve Inskeep.

More than 500 firefighters from across the country are helping to battle a massive wildfire along the border between Georgia and Florida.

Donna Green-Townsend of member station WUFT reports from Gainesville.

DONNA GREEN-TOWNSEND: Twenty-five-mile-an-hour winds on Monday lifted the smoke but worsened the fire edging ever closer to the north Florida community of Lake City. At one point it broke through a containment line. Division of Forestry spokeswoman Annaleasa Winter says they're using every resource they can to keep the blaze away from homes.

Ms. ANNALEASA WINTER (Department of Forestry): We've got lines of hidden metal and steel up and down this road waiting to help defend. 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.

GREEN-TOWNSEND: Monday night, about 300 residents filled a school board auditorium, wanting to know just how much closer the fire will get. Diana Waters is worried about her sister and brother-in-law living in the forest near the fire.

Ms. DIANA WATERS (Resident, Lake City): They won't leave. He said he built that house with his two hands and he's going to protect it with his two hands. It's three-quarters of a mile from their house.

National Weather Service forecasters say windy conditions will continue to challenge the firefighting efforts throughout the week.

For NPR News, I'm Donna Green-Townsend.

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