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Polk County fire (Polk County Fire Rescue)
Polk County fire (Polk County Fire Rescue)

Florida wildfires have destroyed homes and forced thousands of evacuations


Three separate fires are burning parts of Florida. In one region the fire is still far from contained, ABC News reports. One fire alone has burned 5,500 acres and destroyed nine homes in Collier County. 

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency earlier this month. One of the fires has been confirmed to be started by a discarded cigarette, and another is suspected to have been caused by arson

Here's a look at the fire in Collier County, which was 20 percent contained late Saturday.

There's no evidence the fires are occurring naturally.
Ricky Britt, Florida Forest Service

In Central Florida's Polk County, a 600-acre wildfire was 60 percent contained, but only after forcing hundreds of evacuations. The evacuation order was lifted Saturday afternoon. 

Local officials believe this fire started late Friday and suspect arson was the cause. 

Another fire in Lee County damaged or destroyed 13 buildings. It was 95 percent contained as of Saturday evening.

Investigators found a discarded cigarette at the fire's origin point.

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