A Georgia wildfire grew rapidly Saturday morning prompting officials to evacuate the town of Saint George in Charlton County.
The fire, known as the West Mims Fire, grew by more than 4 square miles Friday night as dry, windy conditions fanned the fire.
According to Charlton County Emergency Management officials, roughly 70 homes were forced to evacuate. The following statement was released early Saturday:
“This is an evacuation order. A wildfire is approaching the area. Residents of Saint George should evacuate now.”
A temporary shelter has been established in the gymnasium at the Folkston Elementary School located at 34754 Okefenokee Drive, Folkston, GA.
According to Inciweb, the West Mims fire has spread over 185 square miles since lightning sparked the fire on April 6, 2017. As of Saturday night, the fire was reported to be 12% contained.
Smoke from the fire could be seen over Jacksonville, FL Saturday afternoon.
— NWS OPC (@NWSOPC) May 6, 2017
As of Saturday night, there were more than 500 firefighters on the scene. Fire officials expect increased fire behavior over the next few days.
Emergency management officials out of neighboring Nassau County in Florida issued a precautionary notice to citizens on the west side of the county. Residents have been asked to prepare their families in case an evacuation becomes necessary.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Nick Merianos