Large Georgia wildfire sputters, stalls days after rain

SAVANNAH, Georgia. – A large forest fire near the Georgia-Florida state line has sputtered and stalled for days, giving firefighters their best opportunity yet to stop the flames from advancing near the southern edge of the Okefenokee Swamp.

The multi-agency team fighting the fire said Friday the total area burnt is at 238 square miles (616 sq. miles) — a figure that barely budged since Sunday. That is after a 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) of rainfall to hit the fire from last weekend, slowing down the burn rate to a crawl.

Susan Heisey is the supervisory ranger of the Okefenokee National Wildlife refuge. She said Friday that the fire is now 40 percent contained after the fire brigade extinguished smoldering hot spots along the fire perimeter, the strengthening of containment lines to prevent the fire from spreading in the nearby communities.

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