- Associated Press - Saturday, July 29, 2017

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) - A recent wildfire that burned vast acreage near the Georgia-Florida state line hasn’t stopped plans for hunting seasons to open in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge centered in southeast Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, said in a news release that small game hunting for quail, rabbits and squirrels will open Aug. 15. Seasons for deer, feral hogs and turkeys will open between September and March.

A wildfire sparked by lightning inside the Okefenokee refuge in April burned nearly 240 square miles (620 sq. kilometers). Soaking rains finally helped firefighters contain the blaze in June.

Susan Heisey, the refuge’s supervisory ranger, told The Valdosta Daily Times most animals in the fire’s path would have successfully fled to safety.

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