Okefenokee wildfire now 4 times size of Disney World

Blaze is 157 square miles, 8 percent contained

(Georgia Fish and Wildlife Service)

FOLKSTON, Ga. – The West Mims wildfire continue to burn in the near the Florida-Georgia border and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

The fire, which has been burning since a lightning strike on April 6 started approximately 2.5 miles northeast of the Eddy Fire Tower in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, grew to 100,517 acres, or just over 157 square miles, about four times the area of Disney World.

There are 486 firefighters using five helicopters, 53 wildland fire engines, five dozers, 34 tractor plows, two interagency hot shot crews and various overhead and support positions to fight the fire, which was eight percent contained Sunday night.

U.S. highway 177 is closed 11 miles north of the intersection with Georgia state road 94 at the entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Temporary road closures will occur as needed due to smoke or equipment.

A burn band remains in place for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and in several northeast Florida counties, including Flagler, Putnam, Baker and Nassau, which extended its burn ban Monday through May 8.

Flagler County has also declared a local state of emergency Monday.

Officials say that a chance of rain on Monday could help the contain the blaze. Light smoke could impact Folkston, Georgia on Monday evening.