According to fire managers, the use of aircraft kept the fire from growing to a significant size.
In other areas of the fire, activity was low, but conditions are expected to change over the next few days with a return to increased fire activity. "We've got to have more rain. What we've got so far just makes the swamp mad," said Unified Incident Commander Mike Quesinberry. "She could be lively in a few days."
Tomorrow, an Incident Management Team from the Great Basin will begin managing the fire. Incident Commander Mike Wilde's team will shadow current team members today.
There are four strike teams on both the Racepond and on the Sweat Farm Again Fires. They continue to patrol for hot spots and provide structure protection in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Crews continue to monitor the situation.
The Northeast Forest Fire Prevention Commission (NFFPC) Incident Management Team assumed command of the Racepond and Sweat Farm Fires. This is the NFFPC team’s second trip to South Georgia, since they also assisted with fires in 2007. NFFPC represents land management agencies of the New England states, White Mountain National Forest, Canadian Atlantic Provinces, and Quebec. The team will continue to manage and provide extended attack and assist in Initial attack for any new fire outbreaks.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge remains closed at this time, and will remain closed through the holiday weekend. Refuge and fire managers will begin evaluating changes in those closures as the fire danger to the public decreases.
Ware, Camden, and Pierce Counties have issued bans on personal use fireworks. Brantley, Clinch and Charlton Counties are discouraging the use of personal fireworks. The public fireworks display has been canceled for Brantley County.
Please use caution with fire and fireworks over the 4th of July weekend.
Cooperators: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge; Georgia Forestry Commission; Florida Division of Forestry; U.S. Forest Service; Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL); Georgia Emergency Management Agency; Rayonier; Superior Pine; Langdale; GDOT; GSP; FLDOT; Georgia DNR; Georgia Aviation Authority; Georgia National Guard; Georgia DOC; County Fire Departments; Toledo Manufacturing Company; Charlton, Ware and Clinch Counties; and the Cities of Folkston and Homerville.
Current fire status:
Honey Prairie Fire Complex: 286,698 acres, 70 percent contained
Sweat Farm Again Fire: 19,169 acres, 75 percent contained
Racepond Fire: 20,934 acres, 75 percent contained
Closures: All entrances into Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are closed. All visitor activities are suspended until the threat of fire is over. For status updates on visitor activities contact: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 912-496-7366; Okefenokee Swamp Park, 912-283-0583; or the Stephen C. Foster State Park, 912-637-5274.
The Georgia Fire Information Center will be open from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily to help assist the public and media with up to date information on all fires across Southeast Georgia and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.