S. Georgia wildfire forces evacuations; ash reaches Jacksonville

S. Georgia wildfire forces evacuations; ash reaches Jacksonville

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Smoke from the West Mims Fire is visible above this road in Charlton County, Ga. (Credit: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge)
  • Story Highlights
  • A temporary shelter is set up in Charlton County for evacuees.
  • The fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge covers more than 118,000 acres.

People were evacuated in South Georgia on Saturday afternoon because of the wildfire that now covers more than 118,000 acres, officials said.

Also, white ash from the West Mims Fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge fell on downtown Jacksonville, the Florida Times-Union reported.

About 74 people were evacuated from the unincorporated community of Saint George in Charlton County as of 3 p.m., the newspaper reported. A temporary shelter was opened in the gymnasium of an elementary school in Folkston.

No injuries were reported.

“I can’t believe this. It really is scary,” said Miriam Gladsen-Long, an 84-year-old Jacksonville resident. “I’ve been on this earth a long time and never seen anything like it.”


Continued hot and dry conditions mean more brush and vegetation is ready to burn, according to a statement Saturday from officials trying to contain the fire.

The fire started April 6 from a lightning strike, and containment is estimated for Nov. 1. A team of 519 people is fighting the fire.

The emergency drug Naloxone, used to reverse opioid overdoses, will be a minimum requirement across several state agencies and health departments.

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