At least 130,000 acres on the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge have been decimated by the fire — and there’s little hope the blaze will be contained any time soon. The wildfire started April 6.
“Anything that can burn will burn if a hot ember falls,” park officials and firefighters said.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 6, 2017
Some displaced persons have been shuttled to a nearby elementary school, where a temporary shelter has been established. “We’re not sure what’s going to happen right now, so it’s open until further notice,” Michael Davis, West Mims Public Information Officer, said on Sunday. The shelter is estimated to hold about 79 people.
All 2,000 individuals living in the unincorporated St. George community were mandated to leave on Saturday as the fire inched closer to their homes, Davis told ABC11. Davis noted that refugees should bring whatever they think they’ll need for what may be a long stay. The fire could rage on for months.
— GDOT Southeast (@GeorgiaDOTSE) May 8, 2017
What’s more, the fire could spread from its origin in southern Georgia down into Florida, officials noted.
— 🎹Llanos Janus (@PrettyPupperDog) May 6, 2017
About 500 firefighters are actively working to extinguish the blaze, but high winds and low humidity levels are working against them.
— Wildfire Today (@wildfiretoday) May 7, 2017
“First Responders are NOT coming door-to-door,” one refugee said via Facebook, as they are entirely focused on putting out the fire. Still, the West Mims Fire may labor on until November, a spokeswoman for forestry officials and fire crews said.