Fire at Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge grows to 6,000 acres


FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — A wildfire sparked by lightning in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is spreading through government-owned swamp and forestland, having burned more than 9 square miles near the Georgia-Florida state line.

Susan Heisey, supervisory ranger for the refuge, says Tuesday more firefighters are being added to a team of more than 100 that’s trying to contain the roughly 6,000-acre blaze to public land.

Heisey says the fire that started in the southern portion of the Okefenokee refuge’s vast 407,000 acres has now spread into the neighboring Osceola National Forest and John M. Bethea State Forest in Florida.

Heisey said the fire has been spreading westward, away from area communities. All camp sites and trails in the Okefenokee refuge remain open to visitors.

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