Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Fish and Wildlife Service
Folkston, GA 31537
West Mims Fire Morning Update
Thursday April 20, 2017
FAST FACTS: The West Mims Fire is currently 22,610 acres and 3% contained. 356 personnel are assigned to this incident. Equipment resources include 6 helicopters, thirty five wildland engines, 8 dozers, forty tractor plows and 2 Interagency Hot Shot crews, 1 Initial attack crew. The Georgia Forestry Commission Type 2 Incident Management Team is assisting in managing the fire with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Forest Service, and U.S. Forest Service.
Community Meetings: Community meetings will be held in Charlton County this weekend for residents and visitors to receive an update on the West Mims Fire. A meeting in St. George will be at 6:30 P.M. on Friday April 21, 2017 at the St. George Elementary School Auditorium. A meeting at the Charlton County Annex Auditorium in Folkston will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2017.
Current fire situation: The lighting-caused fire was reported on April 6, 2017, approximately 2.5 miles northeast of Eddy Tower in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The fire is expected to push in a north westerly direction this will push the fire towards the containment lines in the Fiddlers Island area as well as towards Strange Island within the Okefenokee swamp.
Planned action: Crews will provide support for private landowner preparation on the southeast side of the swamp in anticipation of the fire moving east. Crews will continue to monitor and patrol for any spots across containment lines and mop up of the fire perimeter in all accessible locations. Structure preparation has begun at the Main Entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near Folkston. The Clinch and Charlton County Emergency Management Agency are keeping residents and visitors to the area informed of the fire conditions and providing “Ready, Set, Go!” information. To learn more, visit http://www.wildlandfirersg.org
Fire weather: With high pressure remaining in the region, fire activity will be similar to yesterday but with a more south component in the wind direction as the day progresses with increasing winds to 7 to 9 mph with gusts around fourteen mph. Minimum relative humidity could be as low as 31% with record setting heat.
Restrictions and closures: FL2/GA94 from the agricultural check station at the GA/FL line to U.S. 441 in Fargo will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Temporary road closures may still occur. The Wilderness Canoe Trail overnight stops within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are closed. The Chesser Island Boardwalk at the Main Entrance is closed to the public and the Chesser Island Homestead will be closed to the public at four o’clock today so structure protection can be put in place. A burn ban is in place within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, and a county wide burn ban is in place in Baker county Fl.