Lightning sparks massive fire on St. Catherine’s Island

By WTOC Staff and Shea Schrader

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 9:37 AM EDT

SAINT CATHERINE’S ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Massive fires have been torching St. Catherine’s Island located in Liberty County.

According to the Liberty County Fire chief, the fire first started 10 days ago from lightning. The chief says lightning has struck the island 157 times.

He says the fires started from the north and south ends of the island. Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) is helping to fight the fire.

GFC says dry conditions and large amounts of dead and down timber are making suppression efforts difficult.

They’ve been using helicopters and planes to drop water from above.

Chief Darby says the last estimate he had was around 800-acres either burnt or continually on fire.

The Chief says it’s mostly open land burning and is not aware of any structures in immediate danger.

GFC says they are trying to preserve areas of archeological and cultural importance, which complicates their suppression efforts. They are using natural firebreaks where possible.

“This is the worst it’s ever been. It’s become such a nightmare with the smoke, and continuing on. It’ll slow down a little bit, then it’ll pick back up, and flames and flames and flames,” Jerry Bazemore, Sunberry resident said.

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