- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) - A wildfire sparked by lightning in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is spreading through government-owned swamp and forestland, having burned more than 9 square miles (23.3 square km) near the Georgia-Florida state line.

Susan Heisey, supervisory ranger for the refuge, said Tuesday more firefighters are being added to a team of more than 100 that’s trying to contain the roughly 6,000-acre (24.2 square km) blaze to public land.

Heisey said the fire that started in the southern portion of the Okefenokee refuge’s vast 407,000 acres (1,647 square km) has now spread into the neighboring Osceola National Forest and John M. Bethea State Forest in Florida.

Heisey said the fire has been spreading westward, away from area communities. All camp sites and trails in the Okefenokee refuge remain open to visitors.

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