Lightning strike fire in Cumberland Island’s northern wilderness area
According to an email from Park Ranger Nick Roll, "a lightning strike has ignited a wildfire in the wilderness area on the north end of Cumberland Island. The park was alerted to the fire by a visitor who dialed 911 when he smelled smoke. Park staff responded and are currently on scene monitoring fire behavior. The fire is located a 1/4 mile north of the Brickhill Bluff campground on the west side of the main park road. The burn is currently 5.7 acres in size and is being called the Hawkins Fire."
"The location of the fire is 10 miles north of the Sea Camp dock so there will be minimal impacts to day visitors. Smoke will be visible near the burn area. The Brickhill Bluff campground and Brickhill Trail have been closed and campers are being notified. Lands & Legacies Guided Tours are being restricted to Plum Orchard in the north, but additional stops are being incorporated on the southern end of the island."
Additional fire management resources will be responding, according to the email from Roll.
“Fire is an essential, natural process,” said Superintendent Gary Ingram in the email, “that the island ecosystems rely on for rejuvenation, reproduction, and survival.” Fires that ignite naturally in the park’s designated wilderness area are managed for the benefit of the resource."
"Goals for reintroducing a healthy fire progression on Cumberland Island are outlined in the park’s 2015 Fire Management Plan."