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'Controlled Burn' in Florida Torches 36 Homes

A fire that was supposed to clear 480 acres spread across 800
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2018 2:11 PM CDT
Commercial fisherman John Matthew Polous stands in front of two of his 14 boats that were destroyed along with his house and storage buildings on Ridge Road in Eastpoint, Fla., Wednesday, June 27, 2018.   (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

(Newser) – Dozens of homes in Florida’s panhandle went up in flames when a controlled burn that was supposed to clear 480 acres spread across 800 acres, reports CBS News. Controlled burns are a forest management tool where a fire is deliberately set to prevent destructive wildfires. The fire—which was set on June 18 near Apalachicola by a private contractor hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission—eventually took 36 homes in the coastal community of Eastpoint. Florida is setting up a claims office and officials are offering up to $5,000 in the interim to pay for emergency living expenses, notes Fox News. Eastpoint resident Glenn Woodall lost everything. "The fire was in my backyard,” he told CBS, “so I found the puppy that was in the bedroom in there, I got it out, and I didn't have no time to get nothing." (Read more Florida Panhandle stories.)

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