West Mims Fire in Georgia sends ash to Jacksonville, Florida

The sprawling West Mims Fire that has been burning since April, largely in a south Georgia swamp, broke containment lines on Saturday and sent ash falling as far away as downtown Jacksonville, Florida. 

The lightning-caused fire was reported on April 6 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and has burned more than 135,000 acres. Crews on Saturday dealt with gusty winds and relative humidity levels around 18 percent, which drove the blaze past containment lines and fanned it farther east.

“The fire moved aggressively to the east and southeast against an enhanced air and ground attack today,” officials wrote in a Saturday night InciWeb update. 

The fire and a blanket of falling ash on Saturday unnerved some residents near downtown Jacksonville, the Florida Times-Union reported. 

Similar conditions were forecast for Sunday, and evacuation orders remained in place. Additional heavy air tankers were expected to arrive on Sunday from California and Montana to assist the approximately 535 personnel assigned to the incident.

The West Mims Fire remains just 12 percent contained. No injuries have been reported. Full containment isn’t expected until Nov. 1.

Author: Jason Pohl

In addition to writing for Wildfire Today, Jason Pohl reports on law enforcement and public safety issues for the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper.

10 thoughts on “West Mims Fire in Georgia sends ash to Jacksonville, Florida”

  1. Warm welcome to Jason Pohl for his wildfire today contributions. Glad to see you here. Nice photo.

  2. I have reservations at Amelia island resort may12-13 is this mims fire going to be a problem like to much smoke to stay in the area? Thank you.

    1. Don’t think this incident should affect your plans, though as always it’s never a bad idea to check with the resort in the days before your arrival!

  3. Drove up 95 on Saturday…heavy smoke around St Johns River and Dames Point Bridge but cleared as I headed north…. unless wind shifts, Amelia Island should be ok.

  4. We have plans to go to the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, Fl. on 5/26/17. Is there any danger to that area at this time?

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