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Florida wildfires claim two firefighters

By Sascha Cordner

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-974469.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida Division of Forestry Officials say the fire in the Hamilton County area, that left two of their firefighters dead and injured two others, is now contained. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, firefighters are still working through one of the busiest wildfire years in recent history.

Florida Division of Forestry Director Jim Karels says the Blue Ribbon fire was previously contained, but severe fire weather conditions caused it to flare up again Monday, killing two firefighters in the process, who were trying to cut a line through the fire with bulldozers.

"Brett Fulton, long time employee with the division, 13 years, almost 10 years of firefighting experience, went through the '07 fire season, the '01, both very severe fire seasons, and Josh Burch, veteran with the Division for 10 years, he had been a firefighter all 10 years, and a very excellent young man."

Karels says two other firefighters, Robert Marvin and Stephen Carpenter had smoke-related injuries, when they tried to rescue the 31 and 52-year-old firefighters who died. He adds Florida's recent dry weather has caused an increase in fire activity in several different areas around the state, but there are areas, like the South Florida region, that are getting better.