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Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 10:05am

Cumberland Island Fire Persists

A 55-acre fire is burning at the center of Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Officials say the fire originated south of Willow Pond trail between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

But the flames may be beneficial, says Maggie Tyler of the National Park Service:

“Because this area is in wilderness we’re actually going to monitor the fire and use natural fire breaks such as trails and dunes to contain the fire let and the fire continue on its natural course because fire is beneficial for the environment.”

On Thursday a group of North Carolina firefighters joined local crews attempting to contain the fire.

As of Thursday, 30 percent of the blaze was contained.

Areas of the park have been closed to visitors as a safety precaution.

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