Wildfires Almost Under Control

A wildfire on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp on the Florida-Georgia line was being contained Tuesday by an army of almost 650 firefighters and an air force of three water tankers and 11 helicopters.

"We have made good progress and have built a containment line," Bill Paxon, a spokesman for the firefighting operation spearheaded by the U.S. Forestry Service. "We're feeling pretty good right now."

Most of the 53,000 acres burned by the blaze sparked by lightning May 21 lies between the Osceola National Forest and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Only about 7,000 fire acres are in the Okefenokee preserve made famous by the old comic strip Pogo, the story of a knowing little possum and his swamp friends.

At least 30 more fire engines and 60 firefighters are being brought in to help fight the fire, said George Broyles, another fire information officer. About 50 fire engines and 50 bulldozers, along with 482 firefighters, were already on the scene.

Crews and equipment have come in from 30 states, from as far away as Alaska. The extra equipment and manpower was expected to arrive from agencies around the country within three days.

No structures have been damaged and no one has been injured in the wind-stoked fire, which has been gobbling up dry pines and palmetto trees.

The weather is expected to remain hot and dry with winds out of the east. Without significant rain, it might take another two weeks to fully contain the blaze, officials said.

More than 3,770 wildfires have burned about 280,000 acres in Florida this year.

In the West, firefighters were nearing containment of an 11,000-acre wildfire in northwestern Arizona Tuesday.

The fire charred an area between the Arizona-Utah state line and Grand Canyon National Park, about 100 miles northeast of the proposed Shivwits National Monument. About 300 firefighters have been battling the fire since it was sparked by lightning Friday. No injuries have been reported.

Also, firefighters in Nevada called in reinforcements to help battle a lightning-sparked blaze that had charred 10,000 acres of rugged terrain about 85 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It was only 20 percent contained today, authorities said.

In California's Joshua Tree National Park, a 13,900-acre lightning-sparked wildfire was contained.