Prescribed Burn Caused Eastpoint Blaze

Eastpoint, Fla. - A prescribed burn conducted by Wildland Fire Services, Inc. on behalf of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission caused the wildfire in Eastpoint that burned more than 800 acres and destroyed 36 homes, state officials admitted Wednesday.

“My heart goes out to those affected by this devastating wildfire, and I thank all of our partners in the response effort to stop the spread of the fire,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. 

The Florida Forest Service led response efforts to contain and extinguish the wildfire with assistance from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Eastpoint Volunteer Fire Department, and other local fire departments.

During the course of the investigation, other possible causes, such as lightning, arson, and fire accidentally caused by man, were eliminated.

Hours before the cause of the blaze was released FWC officials announced they were suspending prescribed burns statewide. 

“At FWC, safety is always our top priority," said Executive Director Eric Sutton. "Due to the proximity of last week’s prescribed fire to the Limerock Wildfire that caused severe damage, we have launched an investigation and will completely review all policies and procedures with prescribed fires. If the multiple ongoing investigations find that any safety protocols were not followed, we will take the proper steps to ensure accountability. Our focus remains with the families who were affected by the wildfire and our agency is committed to working to help this community get back on its feet.”




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