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Rainfall stalls growth of wildfire near Georgia-Florida line

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/17/2017
A fire truck passes as a plume of smoke rising from a wildfire burning, Monday, May 8, 2017, just outside the town of St. George, Ga. © Russ Bynum/ AP Photo A fire truck passes as a plume of smoke rising from a wildfire burning, Monday, May 8, 2017, just outside the town of St. George, Ga.

FOLKSTON, Ga. — Firefighters battling a vast wildfire near the Georgia-Florida state line are getting a short break after weekend rainfall stalled the growth of the blaze.

The multi-agency team assigned to the fire said in a news release Monday that the burned area has remained at 238 square miles (616 square kilometers) since Saturday. That's when thunderstorms in southeast Georgia dumped up to 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) of rain on the flames.

The rain helped firefighters secure containment lines outside two small communities in Charlton County on the southeast edge of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, allowing emergency officials to lift evacuation orders that had been in effect for days.

Fire officials said the fire will likely grow this week as hot, dry weather returns and winds push flames toward the west.

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