CLAIM: The West Mims fire is now the nation's largest fire
After nearly a month, the West Mims fire at the Okefenokee National Wildfire Rescue is still growing. So far, it has burned more than 100-thousand acres, that's nearly three times of the size of Miami's metro area. Despite more than 460 people assigned to the fire, it's only 8% contained.
You may have seen reports that the West Mims wildfire is now the nation's largest fire. We set out to verify the claim.
We spoke with Leland Bass with the West Mims Fire incident management team. We also checked a government website on active wildfires around the country.
According to The National Wildfire Coordinating Group, based on the number of acres burned, the West Mims fire is sixth largest on the list. That would make the claim untrue if you just stopped there.
However, we took a closer look and many of the fires larger than West Mims have not been updated. That's because they are 100% contained, but are still listed as "active."
"We are the largest active wildfire right now," said Bass. "That's why they didn't update [the website] because the containment is 100%. They're just monitoring it to make sure there isn't a change in weather," he said.
So we can verify the West Mims fire is the largest uncontained wildfire in the country. Bass also says, unless we see heavy rainfall of at least three inches, they plan to continue working on this wildfire until November.
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