Ossabaw Check Station Burns To The Ground

GON Staff | April 12, 2010

The check station on Ossabaw Island, a structure many Georgia hunters are familiar with, burned to the ground Feb. 28 following the Feb. 25-27 hog hunt. Apparently the fire was the result of a campfire that was not completely extinguished when hunters left the island.

According to Ed Van Ottern, Game Management supervisor for Region 7, fire inspectors traced the blaze back to a fire ring in a designated campsight. No one was charged with any wrong-doing.

“The campfire that it came from, the people tried to put it out. They just didn’t do a good job with it,” said Ed. “Put your campfires out! Cover them with dirt, and pour water on them.”

Two DNR rangers were patrolling the Intracoastal Waterway when they saw smoke billowing from the island Feb. 28. The building was completely engulfed when they got to the scene.

The list price for the building for insurance purposes is $158,750 with a $12,500 content value. Ed said it costs a lot to build on the island because of the price of ferrying materials and labor. The cost of materials to build the check station in 2005 was $50,000, said Ed. There is no word yet on when the building will be replaced.

Part of what was lost in the fire were the results of the hog hunt. Ed said he thinks there was nearly a 200% success rate for the 75 or 80 hunters on the hunt.

The Ossabaw Island check station soon after being built in 2005.

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