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Man, the burning of books, caused 700 acres of Florida brush fire, officials say

A Florida man burning books in his garden, caused a 700-acre brush fire that destroyed two buildings, damaged six houses and almost 20 sheds and barns, officials said Thursday.

(Florida Forest Service)

A Florida man burning books in his garden, caused a 700-acre brush fire that destroyed two buildings, damaged six houses and almost 20 sheds and barns, officials said Thursday.

Florida Forest Service officials to let the residents back to their homes after good weather helped firefighters combat the flames. At least 150 residents were forced to leave their homes, Fox 13 News reported.

“Things are looking really good as the weather, so this is giving our firefighters a great opportunity to get some excellent progress today,” the forestry commission spokeswoman Annaleasa Winter said. “The fire does not spread.”

Winter added that the fire was about 65 percent contained and that they expect that around 75 percent contained come Friday morning, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Officials said the fire began Wednesday at about 2 hours and they initially thought that they were included in the fire to about five acres, but strong winds helped the blaze spread, causing the evacuation of local residents.

The man had no permit for his book burning and will be billed for the firefighting effort, officials said.

Winter said the man has not deliberately cause the fire and he was acting very remorseful.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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