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Gov. Scott Declares State Of Emergency As Wildfires Burn Statewide

A helicopter dumps water on a fire in the Chuluota area, Seminole County, on April 8th. Photo: Florida Forest Service

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as wildfires burn across Florida. 107 wildfires are burning across 23,827 acres statewide.

Recent wildfires in Orange and Seminole Counties forced evacuations near Orlando’s tourism corridor and destroyed part of a Girl Scout camp. Smoke from the fires has caused ongoing road closures. Gov. Scott’s executive order also cites a 5,500 acre wildfire in Polk County that has destroyed 12 homes.

The emergency declaration puts the state director of emergency management in charge of response and recovery and frees up funds to help local agencies cope with the disaster.

Wildfires have burned two and a half times more acreage than the same time last year, and hotter and drier than normal conditions are forecast for the next few months.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »