West Mims Fire Behavior Increases | GA | 12

UPDATE 12 – MAY 11, 2017 – (THURSDAY) – 1930 HOURS PDT

Weather | Conditions are hot and dry.

Cause | The cause was due to lightning that hitting the area.

Location | The fire is about 2.5 miles NE of the Eddy Fire Tower on the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge in Georgia.

A dark plume of smoke and flames burning near a dirt road on the West Mims Fire

Fire Conditions | The fire is most active on the West side of St. George, South of GA 94 and North of Rd. 8.  2 fingers of the wildfire on the SE perimeter have multiple spot fires.  Firefighters are currently holding and are working to improve containment lines.

Fire behavior is currently active, running, flanking and spotting.

Resources | An additional four bulldozers and operators, along with additional personnel have been hired, in case the wind shift to the West towards Fargo, Georgia.  Resources showing attached to this incident are:  Southern Area Type 1 IMT, GA Forestry Commission,  Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners, USFWS, FLFS and the USFS.

About 700 firefighters from 36 States, including DC and Puerto Rico are said to be here helping.

Acreage | 144,073

Containment Status | 15%.

Threats | About 500 structures were threatened as the fire was said to be headed SE towards Jacksonville.

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UPDATE 11 – MAY 6, 2017 – (SATURDAY) – 2330 HOURS PDT

Acres | 135,391 acres.

Evacuations | Entire town of St. George, Georgia has been added to the mandatory evacuation order.

Hwy 94 closed both ways from 121/94 in St. George west to Lacy's Store 2 p,m, 5-06-217

Closure at Hwy 121 Road at Hwy 94 and 185

Shelter | A temporary shelter has been established in the gymnasium of the Folkston Elementary School at 34754 Okefenokee Drive, Folkston, Georgia.

Containment Status | Though the fire remains at 12% containment status, the acreage continues to increase as firefighters work against time and weather conditions.

Donations | The folks managing the wildfire are getting lots of donation offers and there have been some suggestions on how You can help them.

NOTE:  Generally, Firefighters are trained to be self-sufficient when going out into the field and their support base camp is fully stocked with food, water and all of the necessary gear.  This one reason why they do not accept these types of donation offers.  Also, they are not geared to accept monetary donations either.  However, they recommend you donate to supporting organizations.

—>  Donate to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.  This organization many firefighters and their families.  They are always looking for funding sources to help as many people as they can.  To learn more about their tireless efforts, you can visit them on their Facebook page at —-> https://www.facebook.com/WFFoundation/

—>  Donate to a Local Food Bank.  Due to this being a large wildfire, many were evacuated and may need assistance. Contact the Local Food Bank in the area to see how you can make a food or other type of donation.  They will be forever grateful.

—>  Support your Local Fire Department.  Many Fire Departments have firefighters from area Agencies.  You can contact those who may be in the area to see how you can support them and their fire personnel, i.e. funding, donations, etc.

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UPDATE 10 – MAY 5, 2017 – (FRIDAY) – 1900 HOURS PDT

A large smoke plume dominates the frame colored with pink, and gray highlights from the smoke-filtered setting sun

Acreage | 111,650 acres with 12% containment status.  In a holding pattern.

Personnel | 492 personnel.

Resources | 2 crews. 50 engines. 6 helicopters. 6 bulldozers. 38 tractor plows. 2 – 20 person Hot Shots.

ALERT! | Temporary Flight Restriction or TFR.  This also includes unmanned aircraft or Drones.

Cost-To-Date | $12.4 Million in fire suppression costs.

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UPDATE 9 – MAY 4, 2017 (THURSDAY) – 2100 HOURS PDT

Acreage | 111,650 acres burned. 12% containment status.

Personnel | 503 personnel are still attached to this fire incident.

Current Fire Conditions | The West Mimm Fire Fire behavior is active with spotting, flanking and backing.

A cloud looking like a head of cauliflower rises above a generally gray-brown indistinct smoke layer. It resembles a thunderhead and indicates udrafts occurring due to extremely active fire behavior

Fire Weather | Tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 78 with minimum relative humidity of 30 percent and winds from the west at 15 mph.  Some rain is expected to hit the area.

Fire Activities | Firefighters have been busy putting out spot fires.  Crews will continue to monitor and patrol for any fire starts.

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UPDATES 4-8 – APRIL 29, 2017 (SATURDAY) – MAY 2, 2017 (TUESDAY) – 2015 HOURS PDT

Location |  16 miles SE of Fargo.

Back firing operations.

Acreage | Fire has now destroyed 100,517 acres and fire crews have managed to keep it at a steady 18% containment status.

Current Conditions | Firefighters have been working against persistent NW winds and a 19% RH level. Back firing will continue.

Resources | 466 personnel are still assigned along with 53 wildlife fire engines, 5 bulldozers, 34 tractor plows and 2 Interagency Hot Shots.

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UPDATE 3 – APRIL 28, 2017 (FRIDAY) – 1750 HOURS PDT

Fire Status | 86,868 scorched acres.  8% contained.

Command | The Georgia Forestry Commission Type 2 Incident Management Team is managing the fire with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Forest Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

Resources | 488 personnel assigned to this fire incident along with 6 helicopters, 56 wildland fire engines, 6 dozers, 35 tractor plows, 2 interagency hot-shot crews and various overhead and support positions.

Fire Tactics | Strategic firing operations in effect, while addressing windy conditions.

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UPDATE 2 – APRIL 17, 2017 (MONDAY) – 1840 HOURS PDT

Incident Summary | The wildfire was sparked by a lightning strike on April 6, 2017, has now destroyed 21,308 acres of timber (grass and understory) and southern rough.  Crews have reached a 3% containment status.

Correction:  This wildfire is located 2.5 miles NNE of Eddy Tower on south end of Okefenokee NWR in Georgia.  It was previously reported in Oklahoma which was incorrect.

aerial view of the fire - April 11

Courtesy: Inciweb

Resources | There are 265 personnel assigned along with ` Tree cutter (private contractor), 1 FWS Masticator, 1 FWS Maintainer-FWS, 12 FWS Hydrotracs, 12 FWS helicopters, 17 engines, 5 dozers, 27 tractor plows and 1 Hotshot crew.  The fire is in Unified Command with the Georgia Forestry Commission Type 2 Incident Management Team assisting in managing the fire with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Forest Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

Current Fire Conditions | The fire behavior is currently active, running and has short-range spotting.

Planned Tactics | We will be conducting Indirect line construction where possible, utilizing tactical firing operations to secure upland land holding, mop up control lines, support prep work near private property, implement structure protection around communities and structures at risk, including Council, Fargo, Stephen Foster, and Okefenokee Refuge structures, utilize aircraft as needed to contain fire within the Refuge.

We will work to prepare operations at the  Type 1 helibase at the Fargo golf course.

Night shift operations will commence from 2000 to 0800 hours with a firefighters on the line.  We will continue to strengthen control lines.  Additionally, we will monitor fire activity and check for  hot spots, recon potential control lines and examine area for hazards and identify areas that need to be mitigated.” – FWS

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Courtesy: Inciweb

UPDATE 1 – APRIL 10, 2017 (MONDAY) – 1830 HOURS PDT

 Incident Summary | The wildfire is located 2.5 miles NNE of Eddy Tower on south end of Okefenokee NWR in Georgia.  The fire started on April 6, 2017, reported at 1700 hours PDT.  Fire Behavior is  active, wind driven runs and creeping.

aerial image of West Mims fire, April 8th, 2017

Aerial view on April 8, 2017. (Photo Courtesy: Inciweb)

Fire Conditions | Active Fire behavior.

Resources | Resources are en route to the fire.

Fire Images Courtesy of Inciweb

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