Georgia fire officials say, less than 100 fire personnel will be working the Okefenokee Swamp's Honey Praire Fire by this weekend. The officials say, they are "right-sizing" fire-fighting efforts based on ground conditions. At its worst, fire-figters and support staff numbered about 1,000.
Officials are ordering evacuations of about 60 homes in Ware County as a wildfire has quickly spread across 8 square miles in a single day. Georgia Forestry Commission spokesman Eric Mosley says the evacuations were ordered Thursday after the blaze had burned more than 5,000 acres a few miles west of Waycross. Emergency officials say firefighters from surrounding communities have poured in to protect homes among the rural timberland that's fueling the wildfire.
A wildfire burning out of control in southeast Georgia a few miles west of Waycross has raced across nearly 8 square miles in less than a day, forcing some rural residents to evacuate. Jonathan Daniel, emergency management director for Ware County, said Thursday about 75 homes were evacuated overnight. He says residents of about 25 homes have been unable to return because the flames are still too close.
While the fire mostly has been contained, the aerial videos date from the fire's early weeks, when it appeared more dramatic from the air. The videos come from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Forestry Commission. They were uploaded to a public website on May 20.
Firefighters have contained 55% of the massive blaze burning in the Okefenokee Swamp. Progress came quickly this week as wind, humidity and temperatures combined to allow crews to start controlled burns to corral the blaze. The fire has consumed the refuge's lower third.
Firefighters have made progress containing wildfires in four southeast Georgia counties that have already burned more than 53 square miles. Crews made significant progress on the fire burning in Long County, but fires near Waycross and Homerville are still advancing.