GARDEN CITY, Ga. – The wild fire down south has now burned nearly 144,000 acres and more than 220-square-miles.
There are more than 700 firefighters in Charlton County, near the Georgia-Florida state line, working to get that fire under control.
“We had to actually drive through the fire to get to the other side to protect the exposures we were assigned to,” Tony Brannen, a Garden City firefighter was sent to help, said “And it was about seven miles from one side of the fire to the other.”
Fire trucks cruised through the smoke as they worked to get on the other side of the flames to save nearby homes and buildings.
“We were set up on several structures to protect in case the fire did get close,” Brannen said.
Savannah Fire, Pooler, Rincon and Garden City were just some of the many crews from across the country helping in Okefenokee these past few days. The fire is now only 12% contained.
There’s not enough water to put a fire that size out, so you just kind of control it,” Brannen said.
The fire started from a lightning bolt while the fire on Daufuskie Island sparked from a cigarette butt.
“Do not throw cigarette butts out of your car,” Corbin Medieros, the Garden City Fire Chief, said. “That’s more likely how something like that starts.”
Storm Team 3 said since we aren’t seeing any humidity it will stay hot and dry through Friday, which makes us more vulnerable for lightning-induced wildfires.
“Just be mindful that the conditions are very dry and it can get out of hand really fast,” Medieros said.
And our fire departments will lend any hands they can spare.
“We can only spare three down,” Medieros said. “We’ll keep them down there for a couple of days, and they’ll come back and hopefully be able to send another three.”
A few firefighter returned Tuesday and Garden City sent a three more on Wednesday. We want to inform you that surrounding departments who are helping do have enough firefighters staffed to cover our area.