Dry autumn aggravates forest fires in the South

A lingering drought, high winds, and newly fallen leaves are aggravating conditions throughout the South, where over 9,000 fires have burned 197,000 acres since Oct. 27. Forest Service, state, and local firefighters have been battling blazes from Texas to Virginia, with crews brought in from Western states to help.

Firefighters said Saturday only rain will allow them to get ahead, but meteorologists don't expect much precipitation before today or tomorrow.

Despite the high number of fires, a US Forest Service spokesman said, ``we did not receive orders for additional manpower from the firefighters. That means what we have already mobilized is sufficient to take care of the situation.''

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