S. Georgia wildfire evacuations lifted; wildlife refuge remains closed

S. Georgia wildfire evacuations lifted; wildlife refuge remains closed

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Fire activity of the West Mims Fire in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge shot by firefighters from the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.
  • Story Highlights
  • The wildfire started April 6 after a lightning strike.
  • Evacuations have been rescinded. 
  • Wildfire currently covers 152,147 acres and is 17 percent contained.

All evacuation orders in connection with the  West Mims fire were rescinded Sunday, officials said. 

West Mims fire map (Credit: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge )

All roads have been reopened, but Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge remains closed, Georgia Forestry Commission officials said.

Due to fire activity, motorists are encouraged to avoid driving on roads near fire activity, unless necessary, even if the roads are open. Officials remind drivers they will encounter firefighters, firefighting equipment, log trucks, and smoke along roads around the refuge and fire areas. 

Rain and cooler temperatures on Saturday helped, according to a news release.

Wildfire currently covers 152,147 acres and is 17 percent contained.

More than 860 firefighters are battling with 11 helicopters, five fixed-wing air tankers, 97 fire engines an d 80 bulldozers among other resources, the release said. 

The fire began with a lightning strike April 6 in the Okenfenokee Swamp, but has spread well beyond that area, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. 

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