Firefighters on Friday battled the second Georgia wildfire to burn more than 100,000 acres as gusty winds spread the fast-moving blaze further into northern Florida and toward the tiny city of Fargo west of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Officials said the wildfire, ignited by lightning striking the swamp Saturday, had grown so rapidly that after six days it already rivaled a fire that has scorched 116,480 acres of southeast Georgia forest and swampland since April 16 _ the state’s largest wildfire on record.

The most recent map of the younger fire from Thursday showed the younger blaze’s acreage at 88,250. But fire spokeswoman Mary Bell Lunsford said Friday the blaze had spread substantially since then. . .

The number of active fires has dropped in Florida to 223 on Friday from 236 on Thursday, with about 140 square miles burnt.

Also, Florida Muslims are offering special prayers for rains at mosques on their religion’s day of rest, said Altaf Ali, South Florida executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“It is only done on an occasion when there is a drought. The situation has to be extreme,” Ali said. “It is better than not doing anything.”


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