Thick smoke has settled over a wide area of the southeastern U.S., where wildfires are burning through decades of leaf litter, and people are breathing in tiny bits of the southern Appalachian forests with every gulp of air.

It's a constant reminder of the dozens of wildfires threatening small mountain communities in Rabun County, Georgia where people feel like they're under siege.

Tim Free, a lifelong resident, breaks down with emotion as he describes how elderly neighbors are struggling with relentless smoke so thick it blocks the sun.

Scott Cates, the pastor of Liberty Baptist church, says many fear the fires will consume their homes.

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