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Brush fires force 2,000 mandatory evacuations in Collier County, Florida

As drought conditions and brush fires continue to plague Florida, a new set of mandatory evacuation orders was issued on Friday morning for portions of Collier County.

Officials said that more than 2,000 homes would need to be evacuated as two wildfires continued to grow in the eastern part of the county.

The 30th Avenue Fire has burned 3,100 acres and is 10 percent contained, according to Caloosahatchee Forestry Center, in Fort Myers. A second fire dubbed the Frangipani Fire has burned 350 acres and is at least 60 percent contained.

The boundaries of the affected area are from White Boulevard south to Interstate 75 and from 39th Street east to Tobias Street, according to Collier County officials.

Many of the homes in jeopardy are located near the community of Golden Gate Estates, the Naples Daily News reported.

Florida. Gov. Rick Scott has deployed Florida National Guard Resources to respond and assist with evacuations, emergency management and firefighting in Collier County.

Scott declared a state of emergency back on April 11 due to the increased number of wildfires across the state.

“These wildfires are dangerous, and if you’re within the evacuation area, do not stay in your home. Be sure to follow the evacuation orders from local officials," Scott said Friday. "If you know of any individuals within the evacuation zone, please reach out to them and make sure they are safe."

collier county fire

A firefighter walks near one of the wildfires in Collier County, Florida. (Photo/Efrain Hernandez/Collier County Sheriff)

Since Jan. 1, there have been more than 1,600 wildfires that have burned over 88,200 acres. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor's latest report on April 18, 34 percent of the state is experiencing severe drought conditions.

A number of burn bans are in effect across Florida.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Collier County and receive updates from fire officials on the status of these wildfires," Scott said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) have also deployed extra units to help combat the fires.