US Forest Service officials say, they expect to have three more air tankers to tackle this year's wildfire season. And ten more are on the way for next year. The service could call on the military aircraft when large fires get out of control anywhere in the country, including South Georgia. A burn ban is going into effect Tuesday.
A vast wildfire burning in the Okefenokee Swamp since late April is just shy of 300,000 acres in size after soaking rains in southeast Georgia slowed the blaze's growth over the weekend. A spokesman for the federal and state firefighters battling the swamp blaze, said Monday that 2 ½ to 4 inches of rain fell across much of the fire Friday and Saturday. The Honey Prairie fire was estimated to be 299,909 acres Monday.
Fire information officers say rain helped slow the huge Honey Prairie Fire on the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge during the weekend. Rich Phelps, an information officer for the Okefenokee fires, says the area received up to half an inch of rain on Saturday.
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.
Authorities say two wildfires burning in south Georgia are now mostly contained. Authorities say the Race Pond Fire south of Waycross is more than 60 percent contained. And the blaze near the Okefenokee, the Honey Prairie, is more than 80 percent under control.
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.