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West Mims Fire

Unit Information

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Fish and Wildlife Service
Folkston, GA 31537

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West Mims Fire Morning Update April 25, 2017

West Mims Fire Wildfire
News – 4/25/2017

West Mims Fire Morning Update
Monday April 25, 2017

FAST FACTS: The West Mims Fire was 48,413 acres and 8% contained as of yesterday afternoon’s report. Significant fire growth occurred late in the day, and infra-red imagery confirms the current size of the fire to be 59,318 acres. 444 personnel are assigned to this incident with equipment resources including 8 helicopters, forty five wildland fire engines, 7 dozers, thirty four tractor plows, 2 interagency hot shot crews, 1 initial attack crew and various overhead and support positions. The Georgia Forestry Commission Type 2 Incident Management Team is managing the fire with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Forest Service, and U.S. Forest Service. History: 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. Current Fire Situation & Weather: Yesterday’s westerly winds pushed the fire east within the refuge. The fire has grown over 20,000 acres since Sunday evening. Crews remained vigilant throughout the day, and overnight, patrolling containment lines and preparing areas in advance of the fire. Potential significant fire growth to the east may occur again today driven by 8-10 mph WNW winds transitioning into westerly winds this afternoon as well as low relative humidity (30-35%). On the western side, the fire is predicted to wrap around Honey Island and advance to the north into receptive vegetative fuels within the refuge. Growth is also expected to approach the boundary of the wilderness area to the east of Mitchell Island. To the southeast, crews are preparing for the fire to potentially reach the swamp edge break near Soldiers Camp. Planned Action: Crews will conduct strategic firing operations as weather conditions allow in expectation of eastern, and potential northern fire movement around Honey Island. Previously established containment lines continue to be monitored closely throughout the entire fire area. Crews continue to prepare areas of refuge lands and private property north and east of the fire. Structure protection will continue throughout Stephen C. Foster State Park and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Driving restrictions: Hwy 177 is closed 11 miles north of the intersection with GA 94 at the entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Temporary road closures will occur as needed due to smoke or equipment Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. This includes any unmanned aircraft systems (aka “drones”). Closures within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge: · The Wilderness Canoe Trail overnight stops · Swamp Island Drive, Chesser Island Boardwalk, and Chesser Island Homestead · Stephen C. Foster State Park, Suwannee River Sill, and the Pocket · Access to all water trails, including boat tours, from the Suwannee Canal Recreation area (eastern side of refuge) have been suspended. Burn Bans are in place for the following areas: · Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge · Baker County, FL

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