Georgia school system closed due to West Mims fire; mandatory evacuation in south Georgia

RAW: West Mims fire spreading in south Georgia (NBC News)

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for all St. Georgia residents in south Georgia.

The West Mims grew by 4,000 acres on Sunday, and has burned nearly 134,000 acres total.

Charlton County schools were closed on Monday.

The West Mims fire has grown by about 4,000 acres, according to the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.  The fire has burned nearly 134,000 acres and is 12 percent contained.

The American Red Cross of Georgia opened a shelter on Monday for evacuees from Charlton County. The threat of flames, smoke and falling ash to nearby communities increased over the weekend, prompting authorities to order an evacuation.

A total of 624 firefighters and emergency workers are assigned to the fire. Crews from 36 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. are helping fight the fire.

Officials say the fire was started by a lightning strike.

PHOTOS: Smoke from the West Mims fire 

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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