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Campfires prohibited in Okefenokee refuge as a wildfire burns

FOLKSTON, Ga. – Federal officials are prohibiting campfires and charcoal grilling in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, where a forest fire has burned 13 square miles (34 square kilometers) near the Georgia-Florida line.

Refuge supervisory ranger Susan Heisey said Thursday that the ban comes up for a busy holiday weekend in the middle of dry conditions and “we don’t want any new fires.”

The fire was estimated Thursday to have burned 8,400 acres (34 square miles) within the refuge and in the nearby Osceola National Forest and John M. Bethea State Forest in Florida. Officials say lightning sparked the eruption of a week ago.

Florida state Highway 2 south of the resort partially reopened Thursday after a closure of three days as a result of smoking. The Florida Highway Patrol still scheduled to close the route between 10 am and 10 pm

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