PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - Forty-five fires have burned about 3,800 acres in Putnam County as of Friday.
Crews were working to keep the fires from spilling over into swampy areas that are not accessible.
Firefighters said despite the fires that are the result of extremely dry conditions, there were no evacuations Friday. A fire at the Putnam-Flagler county line closed County Road 100 on Friday evening.
The most recent fire in the southern part of the county spanned 150 acres and caused temporary evacuations for 25 homes Thursday, but residents were allowed to return home Thursday night. According to the Georgetown-Fruitland Volunteer Fire Department, that fire jumped containment lines, prompting the precautionary evacuations.
Fire officials said a lightning strike sparked the fire, which started as 2 acres, on Wednesday.
Florida Division of Forestry and St. Johns County firefighters were also battling brush fires in the Nocatee area that broke out Thursday on each side of U.S. Highway 1 near County Road 210.
Nocatee homeowner Tom Lukacsa said he came home about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, saw flames within 50 yards of his back yard and called 911.
"Luckily, the response time was just amazing," Lukacsa said. "Within 10 minutes' time, I had all the engines out here."
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 216 active wildfires in northeast Florida counties, burning more than 35,300 acres. Another 200,000 acres were burning in three counties in southeast Georgia.
While Florida's largest fires are burning in Baker County (Impassable Bay, 8,110 acres inside the Osceola National Forest), Bradford (Sante Fe, 6,500 acres), Flagler County (Espanola Fire, 4,306 acres) and Putnam County (Truck Trail, 2,005 acres), conditions are so dry that new fires pop up every day.
In Georgia, the largest fires are burning mostly inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, but there were evacuations and road closures from other fires in Charlton, Ware and Brantley counties. [Read related story]
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