Large wildfire burns over 148,000 acres near Georgia/Florida state line

SAINT GEORGE, Ga. - Fire officials continue working aggressively to contain a massive wildfire burning near the Georgia/Florida border.

The lightning-caused fire was reported on April 6, 2017, approximately 2.5 miles northeast of the Eddy Fire Tower in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Officials report the fire has swelled to over 148,000 acres and is only 15 percent contained as of Friday afternoon.

The number of personnel assigned to this fire has increased to over 720 as of Friday afternoon.

People living in the nearby towns of Saint George and Moniac have been evacuated due to heavy smoke in the area.

A high pressure system will settle farther south of the fire zone bringing a prevailing light westerly air flow through the early afternoon with wind speeds generally 5-8 mph with gusts up to 15 mph. Daytime high temperatures are expected to rise to near record values in the mid 90’s with minimum humidity near 20 percent.

Conditions are favorable for extreme fire behavior, characterized by rapid development and intense fire growth in any areas of available fuel.

The Southern Area Type 1 Red Incident Management Team is managing the fire with Georgia Forestry Commission, Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Forest Service, and USDA Forest Service.