Hot, dry conditions continue to spread Okefenokee wildfire towards St. George

A wildfire sparked by a lightning strike in early April reached more than 129,000 acres by May. (WMAZ-TV)

ST. GEORGE, Ga. (AP) — Officials say a huge wildfire threatening homes near the Georgia-Florida state line is expected to keep growing after recently escaping the boundaries of the vast Okefenokee Swamp.

The fire has blackened more than 210 square miles of swampland. It’s near two small communities in southeast Georgia but many residents stayed put as of Monday, despite an evacuation order.

Tom Stokesberry, a spokesman for the command team fighting the wildfire, says hot and dry weather conditions expected Tuesday will be ideal for its continued growth.

Hundreds of firefighters are trying to contain the blaze, which burned for a month mostly inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife refuge. Last weekend, the fire escaped the refuge boundary.

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