Most Florida Fires Contained; One Still Raging

Associated Press

Florida's worst outbreak of fires, which burned about 200 homes and scorched almost 110,000 acres in two days, was contained Sunday in all but one area, where an enormous blaze remained out of control and destroyed nine more houses.

"Winds are lower, and the humidity is higher," said Larry Amison, a spokesman for the state Division of Forestry. "We are getting more confident--things aren't getting worse."

Even though most fires were no longer spreading, about 90,000 acres were burning Sunday, said Paul Wills, a spokesman for the state Division of Forestry.

Fires were concentrated in a 200-mile stretch of northeast coast from St. Augustine to Cape Canaveral, and inward into Ocala National Forest, one of the largest and most popular forest campgrounds in the state.

The area encompasses Volusia and Flagler counties, where officials said 48,000 acres were on fire. The other 42,000 acres were burning in smaller fires scattered throughout 28 of Florida's 67 counties.

A 12,000-acre fire that burned about 200 homes in Palm Coast, in Flagler County, was contained Sunday afternoon. But about 20 miles south, in the Daytona Beach area, a 28,000-acre brush fire was out of control Sunday and destroyed nine homes.

No major region in the state was free of fires, which were pushed by winds of 10-15 m.p.h. in most of the state. A six-month drought has parched the state, making the land more vulnerable to fire.

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