Wildfires – Florida, USA
Scattered showers are giving an assist to firefighters battling wildfires in southwest Florida, but officials caution the threat isn’t over.
More than 115 wildfires were burning in the state as of Saturday morning, the Florida Forest Service said. Nearly 30,000 acres of the Sunshine State have been scorched. Some mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted, but many residents still can’t return home.
Thirteen homes in Lee County have been damaged or destroyed by a 400-acre wildfire, Scott said.
More than 2,000 homes had been under a mandatory evacuation order in the county, which includes Fort Myers on the southern part of Florida’s Gulf Coast, but the order was lifted with the fire 95% contained by Saturday afternoon.
Further south in neighboring Collier County, firefighters were making progress on a 5,500-acre fire near the Golden Gate Estates section of Naples. It was about 20% contained, Scott said. The mandatory evacuation zone includes more than 6,000 structures. Flames have damaged or destroyed several vehicles and nine homes, the governor said.
A 700-acre wildfire burning in Polk County was about 60% contained as of Saturday afternoon, Scott said. The mandatory evacuation of about 800 homes in Indian Lake Estates, a golf and fishing community near Lakeland, had been lifted, state officials said.