Firefighters have contained several large wildfires burning in Dade, Lumpkin, Brantley, Clinch and Lanier counties. In the last seven days, Georgia Forestry Commission crews have battled 627 fires covering 5,300 acres.
A more active wildfire season -- coupled with deeper budget cuts -- is a bad combination for state forestry officials. The Georgia Forestry Commission says with reduced staffing and county unit offices the past couple of years, the agency has had to get creative in trying to ensure there isn’t too much loss in wildfire preparedness.
The Nature Conservancy has bought more than a thousand acres of fire-scorched land and donated it to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The land is on the refuge's northwest edge, where wildfires burned a half million acres in 2007.