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Florida Battles Raging Wildfires


Firefighters in the U.S. state of Florida are still trying to control wildfires that have engulfed thousands of hectares along the state's central Atlantic coast, ravaging dozens of homes and shutting down a 55-kilometer stretch of Interstate 95.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency Monday as dry, windy weather made conditions worse. So-called "red flag" warnings are in effect for most of the state due to the low humidity and rain is not expected until the end of the week.

The Florida Division of Forestry says 108 fires are burning and have scorched nearly 7,000 hectares of land. In the Palm Bay area, 18 schools are closed due to fire danger. Hundreds of people in the path of the wildfires have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Investigators say the fires started Sunday and they suspect some of the blazes may have been set.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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