Firefighters from as far as Alabama and Tennessee have arrived to Cumberland Island in response to a wildfire that has burned on the national seashore since last weekend.
Christopher Derman, a National Park Service public information officer with the Southern Area Gray Team, said there are currently 47 personnel assigned to the fire that has consumed about 200 acres.
Other agencies assisting include the Cumberland Island fire management team, U.S. Forest Service, Georgia Forestry Commission and Florida Forest Service.
No structures are currently threatened, but firefighters have cut fire lines around some of the structures at the north end of the island as a precaution, Derman said.
Temperatures in the upper 90s with little chance of rain mean conditions are good for the fire to continue to burn. The biggest concern currently is ensuring the firefighters staged near the wilderness area remain properly hydrated, he said.
“We definitely have a lot of heat right now,” he said.
The fire, named the Whitney Fire, was first reported by an island resident Saturday night. The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike in a heavily wooded area that has not burned since 2008m when the last wildfire burned at the north end of the island.
There is a lot of fuel on the ground that will be allowed to continue to burn until the fire threatens structures because the wilderness area on the barrier island is a fire dependent ecosystem.
Smoke has been seen from the mainland, but Thurmond said there have been no calls asking about smoke.
He said impacts continue to be minimal.
Day visitors and overnight campers are still allowed on the island, but the Land & Legacies tours are only allowed to travel as far north as Plum Orchard mansion instead of taking visitors to the north end to the island.
Campers in the primitive campgrounds at the north end of the island have been moved to safer locations at the south end on the island.
And all trails between South Cut Trail and North Cut Road are closed.