Fast-moving Florida wildfire burns nearly 40 homes

A fast-moving wildfire destroyed between 30 and 40 homes and 950 acres in northern Florida by early Monday, authorities said. Photo courtesy of the Franklin County, Fla., Sheriff's Office

June 25 (UPI) — A wildfire in the Florida panhandle has burned nearly 40 homes, almost 1,000 acres and prompted numerous evacuations, emergency officials said Monday.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said the blaze destroyed 38 homes by Monday morning. The fire started around 4 p.m. Sunday in the Twin Lakes area of Eastpoint.

“It was probably one of the most intense fires I’ve ever seen in my career, how quickly it moved and how quickly it destroyed homes. People were fleeing out the door with their clothes on their back,” Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith told the Tallahassee Democrat.

No deaths or injuries have been reported.

Putnam said the fire, dubbed the Lime Rock Wildfire, was about 80 percent contained as of 10 a.m. Monday.

Duke Energy was working to restore power to the area as the sheriff’s office and Florida Highway Patrol kept citizens from unsafe areas.

“We’ve got concerns because there are families that cannot assess the damage,” Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said. “But first and foremost safety has to be considered.”

Fire officials are investigating the cause.


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