FOLKSTON, Ga. -- Rangers at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are gearing up for a series of swamp tours for Georgia visitors to kick off 2012.
Starting on New Year's Day with a myth-busting talk on alligators and a tour of the refuge's Chesser Island homestead, where settlers lived for more than a century, events have been scheduled for each weekend in January.
Other tours will include woodpecker watching, photography workshops and a lesson on how longleaf pine trees not only survive wildfires but also provide shelter for fleeing animals.
Wildfire has been burning in the refuge, located near the Georgia-Florida state line, since April 28 but is now burning deep underground near the western edge of the swamp. Portions of the Okefenokee refuge have been opened to visitors since July.