After lack of rain, swamp continues to burn in West Mims Fire

| May 5, 2017

CLINCH CO. – There’s not nearly enough rain falling where it’s needed most, in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Fire officials say more than 4,000 acres have burned over the past 24 hours, expanding the West Mims fire to 111,650 acres that have been burned so far.

After weeks of billowing clouds of smoke and flames, it continues to grow.

As of Thursday, only 8 percent of the fire is contained.

Living in Clinch County for the past 45 years, William Infinger says, “They get dangerous you know, it all depends on the wind where it’s going and the dry conditions.”

Almost 500 people are trying to fight the fire.

Experts and residents agree Mother Nature needs to help out, but Thursday’s showers provided little relief.

“We need a downpour badly, we need six inches of rain right now, it’s dry here now,” says Infinger.

Fire Planner Kevin Gordon says, “It needs a tropical depression, even after that they need a continuation of normal weather patterns.”

Officials say areas that still have foliage fuel on the ground need more moisture to avoid reburn.

Concerns still exist for people living near the fire.

“The arson on the outside of the swamp, you know, and plus lightning. We got lightning today, you have to worry about that too,” says Infinger.

Lightning was the cause of this massive fire just last month.

(WCTV Eyewitness News)

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