A fire reported at Cumberland Island National Seashore a week ago is almost fully contained, park officials said Wednesday. The "Hickory Hill Fire" was 95 percent contained, although it continues to smolder, officials said.
On Tuesday, fire crews transitioned from a large, 20-person crew focused on line construction and containment to a smaller three-person crew detailed to monitoring. This small crew will monitor fire conditions, look for fire hot spots if flare ups occur, and attack them with a minimum impact strategy, seashore officials said.
“We look for the best strategy to protect our resources,” said seashore Superintendent Fred Boyles. “This includes protecting people as well as natural and cultural resources.”
A moisture system was predicted to move into the area Wednesday. This system should help firefighters in their efforts to deal with hot spots. However, due to the smoldering nature of this fire, a quick end to the Hickory Hill fire is not predicted at this time and it will continued to be monitored.
As a result of the fire, the Hickory Hill Campground and the Willow Pond Trail are closed and are expected to remain closed through the weekend.
At this time it is believed that the Hickory Hill fire was human caused. A decision on charges is pending once the results of the investigation are complete.
Cumberland Island National Seashore is the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia. The park is the home to approximately 36,000 acres of pristine maritime forest, undeveloped beaches, freshwater lakes, wide brackish marshes and over 9,800 acres of congressionally designated Wilderness. The seashore was authorized by Congress in 1972 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012.