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Smoke in area from north Georgia fires

The haze and odor of smoke was prevalent in Newton County Wednesday morning due to forest fires burning in North Georgia, according to Brad Stapp, Newton County Fire Services Deputy Chief.

Stapp said members of the Newton County Fire Services were out to several areas in the county and “haven’t found any fires.”

According to Newton County forestry services, surrounding counties also were not experiencing any forest fires. Fires have been active in the northwestern part of Georgia for days, and a forest fire in Lookout Mountain recently became active, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The Environmental Protection Agency rated the air around Covington as moderate, or a 92 in the Air Quality Index, and warned that "Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion."

The Georgia Forestry Commission has issued a total ban on outdoor burning, including open-fire cooking. The ban is in effect indefinitely due to an absence of rain that has lasted more than 30 days.