Georgia residents warned to prepare as Okefenokee fire grows

1:28 p.m Monday, April 17, 2017 Atlanta News
Florida Forest Service Suwanee

SAVANNAH, Ga. — South Georgia residents on the western edge of the Okefenokee Swamp are being warned to prepare for potential evacuations as a wildfire that has burned 31 square miles (80 square km) near the Georgia-Florida line keeps growing.

Sparked by lightning April 6 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife refuge, the fire more than doubled in size over the weekend on nearby public land as strong winds fanned the blaze. It covered 20,162 acres (80 square km) Monday.

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Clinch County emergency management director Will Joyce said some residents of Fargo, a city of about 320 people, were urged over the weekend to pack bags just in case evacuations are ordered.

Leland Bass of the Georgia Forestry Commission said the fire Monday was burning roughly 7 miles (11 km) outside of Fargo.

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