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Wildfires Tear Across Florida Panhandle, Forcing 1,100 To Flee

Multiple wildfires ripped across the Florida Panhandle, forcing over 1,100 people to evacuate their homes as of Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Three separate fires burned throughout Florida beginning Friday, destroying over 10,000 acres as of Sunday, the NYT reported. The Bertha Swamp fire started Friday, burning roughly 9,000 acres and being just 10 percent contained as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Florida Forest Service.

“That’s a big boy, and it’s raging very quickly,” Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a Sunday briefing. Emergency responders have been injured, but the total number hurt and the extent of their injuries remained unclear, DeSantis said.

The Adkins Avenue fire also started Friday near Panama City, burning roughly 840 acres and being just 35 percent contained as of Sunday, according to the Florida Forest Service. The Star Avenue fire burned 250 acres and was 45 percent contained as of late Sunday, according to the fire officials.

A large portion of the fires appeared to burn areas previously affected by Hurricane Michael in 2018, which left thousands of acres of dead trees, the NYT reported. The Bertha Swamp Road fire burned near where the eye of the hurricane passed, the National Weather Service in Tallahassee said.

At least two homes have been destroyed, and at least 12 have been damaged, the NYT reported.

There were roughly 170 active wildfires in Florida as of Sunday, burning over 15,000 acres, according to the Florida Forest Service.

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