A mandatory evacuation has broadened as a wildfire near the Georgia-Florida line threatens small communities on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge supervisory ranger Susan Heisey said Monday that Moniac and Canaday Loop are ordered to evacuate. She says the fire has crossed state Highway 94 south of the refuge. She doesn’t know how many have evacuated the area.
The unincorporated community of St. George already was under a mandatory evacuation order and Charlton County schools closed Monday. The fire was started by a lightning strike April 6 and has burned 129,856 acres (52,550 hectares). Wind gusts and dry conditions are raising the risk of it spreading. Television stations in northeast Florida report smoke can be seen across Nassau, Clay and Duval counties. Officials urge residents to stay indoors. READ MORE