The West Mims fire has burned 143,893 acres and is 12% contained, growing over 3,500 acres from Tuesday. The entire southern half of Charlton County (GA) is under mandatory evacuation orders as of Tuesday morning.
Residents in parts of Western Nassau County have also been told to be prepared to leave if the fire spreads across the state line.
Shifting winds blew the fire to the north overnight and more growth could happen today as winds shift again to the west.
An evacuation order has been expanded to include all areas of St. George, Canaday Loop, GA Bend and Moniac. The fire line has jumped Highway 94 again and is headed towards the Canaday Loop, Moniac, and GA Bend communities.
A Charlton County representative said “first responders are not coming door to door, because they are fighting this approaching fire to try to save homes."
One man who lives near evacuated area tells us he's monitoring the fire to see if he has to leave. He has a wife and 3 little girls @FCN2go— Juliette Dryer (@JulietteDryer) May 8, 2017
At this point, there are no evacuations in Nassau County.
Highway 121 and Highway 94 are closed.
The shelter for St. George evacuees is at the Camden County Recreation Center at 1050 Wildcat Drive in Kingsland, Georgia.
725 firefighters and emergency workers are assigned to the fire. Crews from 36 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. are helping fight the fire.
Smoke from the fire could be seen all over the First Coast, ranging from Nassau County, Duval and Clay County. First Coast News viewers said they saw ash falling in these areas. Residents were urged to not breathe in the smoke or ash and to stay in doors if possible.
Nassau Emergency Management advised residents along CR-121 and the St. Mary's River to make preparations now in case an evacuation order becomes necessary.
A burn ban has been imposed for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Baker County, Florida and Charlton County, Georgia. Burn permits are not being issued in Clinch or Ware counties due to high fire danger.
Bradford County Emergency management warns there will be heavy smoke throughout Bradford Co for the next several days due to wind shift from the West Mims Fire.
Nassau County Emergency Operations Center is open. If you have questions, please call 904-548-0900, option 1.
Current evacuations and road closures:
- The Charlton County evacuation area has now been expanded to include the entire southern half of the county, including Canaday Loop, Georgia Bend, and all locations with an address in Moniac or St. George. A shelter is open at the Camden County Recreation Center, 1050 Wildcat Drive in Kingsland (912-729-5600).
- Hwy 121 is closed from Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge south to the intersection of Hwy 94.
- Hwy 94 is closed from Hwy 121 to Hwy 185.
- Hwy 177 is closed 11 miles north of the intersection with GA 94 at the entrance to the Stephen C. Foster State Park
- Roads may be temporarily closed, as needed, due to smoke or equipment movement.
- Burn bans are in effect for Nassau and Baker Counties, Florida ; Charlton County, Georgia, and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Charlton County school schedules:
- Charlton County High School, Bethune Middle School and Folkston Elementary School resumed classes Tuesday, May 9. (Students who attend Charlton County High and Bethune Middle who live in St. George will be excused from school.)
- St. George Elementary School is closed for the rest of the week through the end of Friday, May 12.
- School transportation won't be available for south of Ruth Petty Road.
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