State battles Southwest Florida wildfires


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying drought conditions and increased fire dangers are expected to continue for the “foreseeable future,” crews were fighting 41 wildfires Tuesday morning across the state -- including major blazes in Southwest Florida.

“Florida’s wildland firefighters are prepared to battle increasingly hazardous wildfires across the state, but it’s imperative that Floridians are cautious with fire to help protect Florida’s residents, natural resources and wildland firefighters,” Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, whose department includes the Florida Forest Service, said in a prepared statement.

The largest fire, totaling 16,794 acres in Collier County, was 50 percent contained, according to the department.

The second-largest fire, totaling 2,800 acres in Hendry County, also was 50 percent contained, as was a 450-acre fire in Polk County.