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UPDATE: Wildfire burning on Fort Benning

A wildfire is currently burning on Fort Benning, post officials said.

The fire started Thursday in an impact area, which is where live rounds are fired. Because it’s an impact area, firefighters can’t reach the blaze, said Elsie Jackson, a post public information officer.

No one has been injured in the wildfire in the impact area on main post near Red Cloud, Wagner and Duke Ranges, she added. Firebreaks have been placed and no buildings are in danger from the fire.

“We cannot put it out,” Jackson said. “All we can do is control it.”

The post performs controlled burns periodically, though it can’t do them in an impact area. That means a fire starts up every few years, Jackson said.

This wildfire is the 58th of the year. The post used to have more than 400 such fires each year before it implemented controlled burns. Now it has less than 100, Jackson said.

Winds likely will have little effect on the fire, at least for now, said WRBL Chief Meteorologist Bob Jeswald.

“The winds have been calm,” Jeswald added. “The weather actually couldn’t be better.”

Jeswald advised anyone who smells smoke to stay inside, especially those with asthma. “It’s soot in the air that you’re actually inhaling.”

Jackson said smoke from the fire will affect the main post cantonment area. Rain expected by the middle of next week should bring some relief.

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