Major Offensive against GA Wildfires - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Major Offensive against GA Wildfires

Major Offensive against GA Wildfires

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Hundreds of firefighters from 46 states including Alaska are pouring into South Georgia to help fight Southeast Georgia Wildfires.

More Three Hundred Thousand acres has been consumed by the fires and Georgia crews need relief.

More than 1,200 people, 148 fire engines, 125 bull dozers, and 11 helicopters are working to contain three separate fires.

Firefighters are preparing a major offensive to stop the blazes which will include strategic burning operations around the Okefenokee Swamp Park.

The Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public.

 Authorities are preparing residents to expect lots of smoke in the Waycross area.

A public meeting is set for Saturday night at 7:00pm at Waycross High School.

Here is the June 24, 2011 Fire Update from the Joint Information Center:

Honey Prairie Fire Complex: 280,527 acres 60% contained

Sweat Farm Again Fire: 19,725 38% contained

Racepond Fire:  21,103 acres 60% contained

 A public meeting has been scheduled for the Ware County High School Performing Arts Center in Waycross, Saturday, June 25 at 7 pm. 

The meeting will help answer questions from the public about fire across SE Georgia.

 Scattered thunderstorms that moved across southeast Georgia on Thursday provided much needed rain on most fires in the area. 

These storms unfortunately brought much more than rain; thunderstorms sparked multiple new fires across the southeast Georgia yesterday. 

Thunderstorms predicted for today could bring more rain, along with lightning throughout the southeast part of the state. 

These storms may bring erratic winds which could test containment lines. 

Yesterdays storms and high winds caused extreme fire behavior, causing fire managers to pull fire crews out of certain areas for safety reasons. 

 Firefighters on the Honey Prairie Fire are planning to conduct strategic firing operations (burnout) in the area around the Okefenokee Swamp Park as soon as conditions are favorable.

These operations will result in smoke being highly visible in the Waycross area, with the potential for some of the smoke to settle.

Crews on the Honey Prairie Fire and the Satilla Summer Fires will continue to patrol and work hot spots around the perimeters of the fire. 

Groups from the Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia National Guard, and the Georgia Department of Corrections will work with Georgia Forestry Commission crews today to strengthen and widen containment lines.

Fire crews are pouring in from over 46 states to assist the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge with suppressing fires. 

Assistance from these outside resources will help provide much needed rest for local fire crews and help contain these fires much quicker.

The Georgia Fire Information Center will be open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily to help assist the public and media with up to date information on all fires across the Southeast Georgia and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. 

Please contact us at 912-496-2566 or georgiafireinformationcenter@gmail.com.