On April 30, 2011, lightning caused wildfires near the Okefenokee National Wildlife refuge in the Honey Prairie region of Georgia. Dry conditions in the region helped fuel the fires, and by July 7 over 290,000 acres have burned. Continued lightning strikes have started additional fires, though Forest Service personnel have been successful in containing many of them. The largest fire unit is burning 1,000 acres a day and is approximately 70% contained.
Landsat satellite data illustrate the area of the fires and the rate at which the fires are growing and the recovery of grasslands after the fires. The April 30 image shows the area just before lightning caused the first fire. The June 1 image shows the major burn, with the dark tone of a fire scar from a now ended fire. The red tones of the June 1 and July 3 image represent recovering vegetation in previously burned areas. Active fire, shown by the light tones of smoke, can be seen in the July 3 image.