Okefenokee Wildfire Closes Georgia State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park closed as fire is expected to grow

Texas A&M Forest Service firefighters wrap the Chesser Island homestead in in fire-retardant material Thursday, April 20, 2017, to protect from embers should the West Mims Fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge burn toward it over the weekend as predicted. (Terry Dickson/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

 

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia state park inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is being closed to visitors as a wildfire burning in the swamp poses a growing threat.

Leland Bass of the Georgia Forestry Commission said Stephen C. Foster State Park was closed to new visitors Friday, while campers already in the park were being allowed to stay until Saturday morning.

The park’s closure comes as a wildfire on public lands near the Georgia-Florida state line is expected to spread deeper into the refuge over the weekend. The fire has burned roughly 40 square miles (104 sq. kilometers) since it was sparked by lightning April 6.

Bass said the fire posed no immediate threat to the park or visitors, but authorities decided to close it as a safety precaution.

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