Okefenokee fire grows to 11,800 acres in south GA. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Okefenokee fire grows to 11,800 acres in south GA.

FOLKSTON, GA. (AP) - A wildfire burning inside the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge has spread to cover more than 11,800 acres - or more than 18 square miles - as winds fanning the blaze caused it to grow more than three times in size during a single day.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday the fire remains in a remote area of the swamp near the Georgia-Florida state line. More than 50 firefighters are working to fortify fire control breaks along the Okefenokee's perimeter in hopes of keeping the blaze from spreading to nearby communities and commercial timberland.

Rangers say a lightning strike started the blaze inside the swamp a week ago.

Authorities say motorists traveling rural highways near the swamp should be on the lookout for smoke obstructing visibility on the roads.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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