Gov. Scott declares state of emergency over fires

- Governor Rick Scott is now saying Florida’s wildfires are a Sunshine State of Emergency.

“These fires are dangerous, and we are blessed to have such brave firefighters in Florida to rush to the aid of our communities and protect us from flames,” Scott said.

This week alone, there have been a hundred wildfires, with 23 wildfires burning more than a 100 acres. Central Florida has seen nearly 20 devastating fires over the last week. Including in Oviedo, where almost 40 homes were evacuated, and on International Drive nearly 300 acres burned.

Orange County firefighters on Tuesday night battled a small brush fire near Southwood Elementary School, which they worried could spread to the school or nearby homes.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the conditions are right for disaster.

“The fear is that we are already in extremely dry conditions. We are already seeing a record number of fires, and we don’t see any relief in sight,” he said.

State Forest Service Director Jim Karels says coming lightning may make things even worse.

"We know the lightning is coming. Florida is the lightning capital of the world. Come April, come May, June and July lightning is going to hit this state hard as it always does every year,” he said.

Right now though, they say 90 percent of these fires are caused by humans.
 

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