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Local firefighter injured battling Waycross blaze

The wildfires raging in South Georgia have taken a huge toll on the land. Now they have affected the life of a McDuffie County man.

John Crawford, a ranger with the McDuffie-Warren Unit of the Georgia Forestry Commission was treated and released for minor injuries, according to a spokesperson at the joint information center in Waycross.

Chief Ranger Senior Steve Abbott of the Forestry Commission's Columbia County office said Ranger Crawford became trapped in his bulldozer when a sudden wind shift overwhelmed the group of local rangers with up to five foot flames.

Chief Ranger Abbott, who was on the same fire line, said the others had to escape and leave Ranger Crawford behind. After getting out of the dozer, Ranger Crawford deployed his emergency fire shelter and was later taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and burns to his ears and neck.

Morris News Service Writer Valerie Rowell contributed to this article.

Web posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007

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