National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Wildfire charred more than 144,000 acres in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Georgia
6/12/2017 12:00:00 AM

Baker County, FL
Columbia County, FL
Charlton County, GA
Clinch County, GA
Ware County, GA

Start Date: 4/6/2017 - End Date: 11/1/2017
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge fire charred 144,000 acres and was 15 percent contained as of May 11. Palm Beach Post (Fla.), May 12, 2017 The wildfire burning near the Georgia-Florida border consumed more than 133,000 acres as of May 8 and was about 12 percent contained. Ocala Star-Banner (Fla.), May 8, 2017 The wildfire burning in the Okefenokee refuge near the Georgia-Florida state line has already charred more than 70 square miles and could continue to burn for the next six months, said fire officials. Over the April 22 – 23 weekend, the area burned grew by 76 percent between Friday and Monday as the flames moved into desiccated parts of the swamp, as well as the Osceola National Forest and John M. Bethea State Forest in Florida. Residents were warned to be packed and ready to evacuate, if needed. The conflagration is expected to continue for several months and may not be extinguished or completely contained until November unless a large storm event puts the fire out sooner. Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune (Minn.), April 24, 2017 As of April 10, a lightning-sparked wildfire charred roughly 3,800 acres of dry swampland in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near the Georgia-Florida state line. The day before, the blaze had consumed just 940 acres. Valdosta Daily Times (Ga.), April 10, 2017