South Georgia, north Florida fire grows to 131,000 acres; evacuations underway

The main danger today comes on the southeast corner of the fire where it consumed more than 11,000 acres over the last two days, forcing evacuations in St. George, Georgia.

FOLKSTON, Ga. -- Parts of Charlton County, Ga. are under a mandatory evacuation due to the West Mims Fire that has scorched 130,942 acres by Sunday.

The main danger on Sunday came on the southeast corner of the fire where it consumed more than 11,000 acres over the weekend, forcing a mandatory evacuation for all residents of St. George, Ga. 75 homes have been evacuated in St. George. 

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."

The area of evacuation for St. George is to the east side of Highway 121 from Crawford Loop Road south to Highway 94. Highway 121 and Highway 94 are closed.

The fire is only 12 percent contained. There are 535 responders trying to put the fire out.

The shelter for St. George evacuees is at the Camden County Recreation Center at 1050 Wildcat Drive in Kingsland, Georgia.

All Charlton County schools will be closed on Monday, May 8.


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.

Nassau County Emergency Operations Center is open. If you have questions, please call 904-548-0900, option 1.

Current evacuations and road closures:

  • The area of evacuation for St. George is now west of Hwy 121 from Crawford Loop Road south to Hwy 94. A shelter is open 1050 Wilscat Dr. in Kingsland, Ga.
  • Hwy 121 is closed from Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge south to the intersection of Hwy 94.
  • Hwy 94 is also closed from the Chip Mill to the state line.
  • 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. 

© 2018 WTLV-TV


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