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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Firefighters contain Fairbanks forest fire caused by lightning

A fire started by lightning burned about 40 acres of the Fairbanks area north of Waldo Road Sunday evening.

Firefighters responded to the call around 6 p.m., and they had the fire 100 percent contained several hours later by using fire lines, which are trenches dug around the fire's perimeter, said Ludie Bond, wildlife mitigation specialist for the Florida Division of Forestry.

The fire was named "111th Place" due to its location, and it destroyed timber owned by Rayonier, a local timber company, Bond said.

As of Monday the flames had not been completely extinguished because its interior was still smoldering, she said.

The Division of Forestry, Waldo Fire Rescue and Alachua County Fire Rescue all responded to the fire.

The North Central Florida area has a high fire-danger level due to lightning storms and a lack of rain, Bond said. Alachua County still has a burn ban in effect as do neighboring Putnam, Marion and Bradford counties.

The Division of Forestry is overlooking 48 active fires in Putnam, Marion, Levy, Gilchrist and Alachua counties.

Most of those fires are small - only one to three acres, Bond said, and they are located in heavily wooded areas.

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