Crews battle 20,000-acre wildfire in South Georgia

Crews battle 20,000-acre wildfire in South Georgia

View CaptionHide Caption
Crews are battling a 20,000-acre fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Georgia. (Credit: Twitter / GaTrees)
  • Story Highlights
  • A lightning strike started the fire April 6.
  • The blaze is about 3 percent contained.
  • The fire is in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

About 200 Georgia, Florida and U.S. firefighters are trying to control a wildfire of 20,000-plus acres in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, officials said.

A lightning strike started the blaze, known as the West Mims Fire, on April 6, according to Wendy Burnett of the Georgia Forestry Commission. The fire is about 3 percent contained.

“Crews will monitor and patrol for spots across containment lines and work to contain any spots with resources on the ground as well as aerial resources,” according to a forestry commission update.

No injuries have been reported.

Firefighters are using two helicopters, 17 engines, five bulldozers and 27 tractor plows, the forestry commission said.

Smoke covered most of Clinch County on Monday and could be found over Lowndes County, the Valdosta Daily Times reported.

A burn ban is in place within the refuge, which spans about 400,000 acres, including northeast Florida. The ban includes fires at designated campsites and charcoal grills.

Overnight stops are closed on the Wilderness Canoe Trail, the forestry commission said. Day-use canoeists and guided boat tours will still be able to access trails.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also involved in battling the fire.

In other news:

Move over April the giraffe, Zoo Atlanta has its own babies! Meet panda cubs Ya Lun And Xi Lun and baby gorilla Mijadala — or Mija for short.

Weather and Traffic