Crews prepare for growing Okefenokee wildfire to march north

(CBS)

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — Firefighters are getting ready for a wildfire that’s burned 35 square miles (91 sq. kilometers) of public land near the Georgia-Florida state line to spread northward in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Leland Bass of the Georgia Forestry Commission said Thursday forecasters expect winds in the coming days to push the fire deeper into the refuge, where lightning sparked the blaze April 6. Firefighters have been fortifying fire breaks along the swamp edge in an effort to keep flames from spreading to nearby communities.

Crews are also working to protect structures inside the refuge. Bass said hoses and sprinklers have been set up around cabins in Stephen C. Foster State Park. And a 1927 home built by settlers on Chesser Island inside the swamp is being wrapped in fire-retardant material.

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