Eight Homes Suffer Minor Damage in Florida Brush Fires

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) -- Eight St. Lucie County houses were damaged and about 40 others were briefly evacuated when two brush fires burned about 150 acres before they were put out, officials said.

Firefighters also worked Sunday to put out a 3,000-acre wildfire in a remote area in north Florida near the Georgia border. The blaze was about 50 percent contained by late Sunday afternoon.

Near Fort Pierce, the damage to the houses was minor in the fires Saturday. A shed and a fishing boat were destroyed before the fires were put out later in the day, said Capt. Nate Spera, a spokesman for the St. Lucie County Fire District.

More than 100 firefighters from several local, state and federal agencies toiled Sunday to contain the fire in north Florida's Baker County, said Gene Madden, a spokesman for the state Division of Forestry.

``Things went very well today,'' Madden said. ``Things look good.''

But he warned Monday would be a ``red-letter warning day'' because the humidity was expected to drop.

Firefighters were ``looking at using a lot of water today to cool the hotspots,'' said Annaleasa Winter, a fire specialist with the division.

The fire began Wednesday and had been fueled by hot, breezy weather and unusually dry conditions, but firefighters hoped to take advantage of a slight increase in humidity this weekend, Madden said.

``We're trying to make the most of that window of opportunity,'' Madden said. ``We expect to see hotspots and flare-ups in the interior of the fire but we're confident it won't increase in size.''

No buildings had been lost, although State Highway 2 was closed and would remain closed until Monday, he said. No evacuations were ordered in north Florida but contingency plans were in place, Madden said.