Approximately 7,000 homes have been evacuated since Friday night, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Just 10 percent of the fire was contained as of 9 a.m. ET Saturday, with many aircrafts working over the area. Several structures are on fire. The American Red Cross opened a shelter Friday night at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales. The Florida Forestry Arson Alert Association is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
A few days ago firefighters were battling wildfires from the top of Florida near the Georgia line to Miami-Dade County in the south as the governor declared a state of emergency. Since February, wildfires affected across 68,000 acres (25,500 hectares) of the state, an amount which is higher than the average acreage burned over the past five years.