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West Mims Fire


West Mims Fire Evening Saturday, May 27, 2017
Fire Situation and Planned Actions: From the ground and air, no new fire starts were detected today. Air operations supported the fire-suppression effort today by conducting several reconnaissance... more


Approximate Location

30.574 latitude, -82.323 longitude

Incident Overview

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fire Situation and Planned Actions:

From the ground and air, no new fire starts were detected today. Air operations supported the fire-suppression effort today by conducting several reconnaissance flights. Incident and refuge managers flew over the fire to get a current picture of how much heat remains within the fire’s perimeter. It wasn’t a complete picture because not all hotspots produce smoke, but having a visual combined with maps of data collected during infrared flights, gives operational planners excellent information they need to develop their strategies. Fire managers also flew north of the fire, assessing water levels in the swamp. From Billys Island northwest to the Swamps Edge Break where the contingency group is working, the swamp is very dry. More water is present east and slightly southeast of Billys Island.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday April 06th, 2017 approx. 05:00 PM
Location7 miles east of Fargo Georgia (Okefenokee NWR)
Incident CommanderSam Leneave, Keith Mousel, Mike Quesinberry

Current Situation

Total Personnel636
Size152,515 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained65%
Estimated Containment DateWednesday November 01st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Grass and Understory) Southern Rough Brush (2 feet)

Fuel models 2, 4, 9, 12, 13

Significant Events

Fire Behavior observed was minimal, Smoldering, Creeping, slow moving surface fire.


Planned Actions

* Patrol and mop up along all divisions with accessible fire perimeter. * Continue pre-work near and on timberlands in divisions north of the fire perimeter. * Contain perimeter, check for and contain spots outside existing control line, suppress hotspots, and monitor for reburn potential in areas previously contained, and take appropriate action to maintain control. * Strengthen control lines outside the Refuge boundary on commercial timberland. Assess for and implement containment actions on divisions previously unstaffed. * Continue to maintain structure protection around communities and structures at risk, including St. George, Moniac, Taylor, Trail Ridge area, Council, Fargo, Stephen J. Foster State Park, Chesser Island Homestead, and Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge structures. * Coordinate suppression with commercial timber salvage operations. * Support IA in delegated assistance area. Utilize aircraft to check fire spread for ground resources. * Continue to identify and conduct suppression operations damage repair.

Projected Incident Activity

24 hours: Drying trend continues with warmer temperatures which will increase surface fire spread potential. 48 hours: 30% chance of thunderstorms will increase IA potential and introduce thunderstorm winds over fire which increases torching potential and brief periods of increased rates of spread in surface fuels.

72 hours:

Increased chances of thunderstorms will bring associated winds over the fire area that can increase rates of spread of surface fire and promote torching and spotting. Re-burn potential will increase both on and off the refuge. New starts possible due to lightning activity.

Anticipated after 72 hours:

Increased chances for thunderstorms will create a threat for additional lightning ignitions on and off of the refuge. Re-burn potential outside the refuge will increase with thunderstorm winds and instability.


The Southern States IMT is coordinating with Florida and Georgia Emergency Management Agencies on structure protection and any evacuation needs for the southeast portion of the fire.

A Palm IR flight was conducted today, it showed some areas of smoke in Divisions O,Z,Y and A. An MMA flight was also conducted in the same area, it showed some similar areas of isolated heat.

An approximately 50' x 100' Re-burn spot was picked up in Division A, air attack responded for suppression.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Hot and dry conditions persisted over the area Saturday with high temperatures around 92 to 96 degrees and minimum humidity around 30-35 percent. Winds were generally out of the west around 4-8 mph with gusts up to 14 mph.

High pressure will continue across the area Sunday with a weak upper level disturbance passing to the north bringing slightly stronger winds. Hot and dry weather will continue with high temperatures expected around 92-96 degrees, but higher humidity will allow the heat index values to climb to around 100 degrees. Minimum humidity is expected around 40-45 percent with west winds around 7-12 mph gusting as high as 20 mph.

Unit Information

FWS Shield
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Fish and Wildlife Service
2700 Suwannee Canal Road
Folkston, GA 31537

Incident Contact

Public Information Line
Phone: 904-452-4627

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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