As of this morning, May 30, the fire still burns at the Thomson Georgia Pacific site. The fire began around 2 p.m. in a silo of the facility on May 29. McDuffie Fire Rescue and Thomson Fire received a dispatch at 2.55 p.m. after the company’s internal controls could not contain the fire.
Outside fire departments such as the Covington, Putnam, and Social Circle Fire Departments have come out to assist McDuffie County and Thomson Fire with the situation, continuing the pattern of mutual aid from multiple counties. At least 15 fire departments from around the region and beyond responded.
In the late evening of May 29, the firefighters were staged at Thomson High School, but that command post was terminated on May 30. McDuffie County Fire Chief Stephen Sewell said tankers have been providing water to help keep the fire contained and in co-operation with the Columbia County Fire Department a mobile operations center was set up at Georgia-Pacific.
According to McDuffie County Commission Chair Charlie Newton, who is acting as public information officer, all Georgia Pacific employees are safe and none were injured.
Sewell reported that around 80 percent of the facilities have been damaged by the fire. Currently, he said they do not know the cause of the fire.
After fighting the fire offensively for hours yesterday evening, firefighters switched to defensive mode, keeping the fire contained. Today, they continue to do so.
The public cannot reach the area due to road blocks that have been set up on both the Thomson Bypass and Harrison Road side of the portion of White Oak Street where the facility is located.
Smoke still rises in the area, but the buildings are currently visible.