Georgia wildfire burning in Okefenokee refuge 98 percent contained

(Courtesy: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge / Facebook)

Officials say firefighters have almost completely contained a small wildfire burning near the edge of a federally protected swamp in south Georgia.

Susan Heisey, supervisory ranger for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, said Friday that crews with tractor plows and other firefighting gear had the blaze 98 percent contained. The fire was started Sunday by a lightning strike.

Heisey says the fire burned about 185 acres - or less than one-third of a square mile (0.78 sq. kilometers). She said firefighters will continue to monitor the fire throughout the busy Memorial Day weekend, when more hot and dry weather is forecast.

The Okefenokee refuge near the Georgia-Florida state line remains open to visitors. But Heisey says charcoal grilling and campfires are prohibited this weekend because of increased fire risks.