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Author Topic: Fire in the Okeefenokee  (Read 2327 times)

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Offline Tom

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Fire in the Okeefenokee
« on: May 09, 2011, 09:41:35 PM »
We've had a fire going on here since April 28th that has burned over 60,000 acres of swampland in the Okeefenokee Swamp.  It's not hurting anything so far and is being contained within the Swamp.   Tonight the wind is supposed to change to the east and blow it back over what it's already burned.  The articles say it is a Mosaic fire, which means that it has jumped around a bit.  So, it will have fuel regardless of which way it goes.  That is pretty typical of fires in that swamp.   Lots of smoke around here though.

Don Staples sent me a picture of the fire and the floodling all the way to Mississippi. I couldn't tell much about the flooding, but I did cut the Southeast from the picture and will post the part with the fire. 


You can easily see the fire above the "Big Bend" area of the St. Mary's River, with the smoke plume blowing to the east.  That smoke has been pretty strong in my front yard.  :D
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Offline WDH

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 09:54:21 PM »
That is an awesome picture.  It is well worth the thousand words.
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Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 11:29:27 PM »
Now thats a REAL fire.  Thanks for the update, I haven't heard much about it on the news. 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 07:58:33 AM »
Get tired of smelling that all day long. That is too bad. I've only been getting my news form the paper. Been outside late all this week. I have not heard of it neither.
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 09:59:21 PM »
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Offline DanG

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 10:39:35 PM »
Tom, it looks like this one's going to smoulder for a while.  I suggest you hang a couple of left hams in that tree out the back door. ;D
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 11:07:41 PM »
That thing is looking to be 15 miles long, or so.  Getting to be Texas sized.  Over 100,000 acres.
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 01:59:53 PM »
Getting a smoke smell here. Weather guesser's say it's from this fire even though we are South West.
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Offline DanG

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 02:18:12 PM »
There is a high pressure area centered SW of the fire, causing the smoke to travel in a circular pattern.  I figure we'll get the smoke before long.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 02:40:10 PM »
That's our new Governor, Rick Scott, causing that high pressure area, Dan.  He was over in Bay County yesterday giving a keynote address to the Bay County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner.  I 'spect there was a lot of hot air released 'cause he was talking about the legislature having given him the tools to improve Florida's economy and the end of teacher tenure. 

It might get strong enough to blow the fire out.  :D
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Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 03:07:44 PM »
  Somehow it just seems strange for a swamp to be on fire.  You would think that it would be to wet to burn.  Now if the Corp of Engineers could devert some of that Mississippi river water over that way we could solve two problems at one time.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2011, 03:41:39 PM »
We've learned that fire in the Okeefenokee isn't necessarily a problem.  The place is growing on deep beds of layers of peat.  As the trees and underbrush grow and die, they create new layers of peat.  Eventually the layers begin to fill the waterway.  The floating peat islands, trees and all, will float into a dead-end and make more "ground".  'Course it isn't real ground, but it isn't water either.

Fire burns the peat away and opens up lakes and waterways that have been plugged.  With open waterways, the swamp can get back to doing what it does best, raise fish and alligators.  :D
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Offline pigman

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2011, 04:01:34 PM »
Tom, if the fire improves the swamp, it shocks me that some government agency is not going to spend millions to try to put the fire out. ;)
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Offline Tom

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2011, 04:05:21 PM »
They used to do that, Pigman.   Now the Dept. of Forestry is more concerned with containment, I think.  I'll bet there is still a bureaucracy or two that wants it out though. :D

There might be a point when they figure enough is enough, but I don't know what that is.
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Offline Buck

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2011, 06:04:41 PM »
Went over there a couple of years ago on a dozer crew. We would fight it when it ran out of the swamp and put in firelines to keep it in there.  I remember sitting on my machine and lookin to the side and seeing waterlines on trees. Was extremely dry. We are in similar shape in Southwest la. right now. As of today the swamp fire is over 90,000 acres.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2011, 06:54:44 AM »
Don't forget crown fires. May not even burn over the land, just the tree tops if it's softwoods.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Re: Fire in the Okeefenokee
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2011, 08:49:59 AM »
News this morning says it is 85 percent contained with a wind shift that sent it back over a previously burned area.
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