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Friday, July 12, 2013 - 8:00am

Rain Keeps Okefenokee Fire-Free

Weeks of heavy rain that have drenched much of the Southeast have been a blessing at a wildlife refuge that straddles the Georgia-Florida state line.

Officials at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge say it's enjoying a swamp water level about a foot higher than average and low fire anxiety.

Supervisory ranger Susie Heisey says the elevated water level helps cover a lot of formerly dry ground. That can help prevent fires, like the Honey Prairie Fire three years ago that burned much of the 400,000 acre refuge.

And while fishermen may enjoy bigger catches, Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding them to exercise caution as high waters can have swift currents that can quickly sweep people away.

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