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Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 1:14pm

Swamp Fire Crew Drops Below 100

Updated: 3 years ago.
At its height, the Honey Prairie Fire was burning hot, with flames. Now, officials say, it's merely smoldering under the Okefenokee Swamp's peat moss, unreachable to any fire-fighting effort, except for lots of rain. (photo Fire Joint Information Center)

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-fighters and support staff numbered about 1,000.

Recent rains, however, have doused much of the fire's southern fringe.

And officials are hoping Tropical Storm Emily puts it all out for good.

"The fire right now is burning underground in the peat moss -- and there's not much you can do for that until what we're calling our saving grace," says Jenny Lynn Bruner of the fire's Joint Information Center. "That would be getting Tropical Storm Emily coming in and drenching these areas."

Since April, the lightning-sparked Honey Praire Fire has scorched a little more than 300,000 acres -- or roughly three-quarters of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

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