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Wildfires force evacuations in Florida

Several fires are burning in the Florida Panhandle region.

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A large wildfire rages through Walton County, Florida (Devon Ravine/AP)

A large wildfire rages through Walton County, Florida (Devon Ravine/AP)

A large wildfire rages through Walton County, Florida (Devon Ravine/AP)

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from areas of north-west Florida as several major wildfires burn through the area.

Authorities said several blazes had scorched thousands of acres of woods, razed dozens of homes and other structures, and forced some 1,600 people to leave their neighbourhoods.

The fires are centred in the Florida Panhandle towards the state’s western border with Alabama.

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A Forest Service vehicle makes its way along the I-10 highway (Gregg Pachkowski/Pensacola News Journal/AP)

A Forest Service vehicle makes its way along the I-10 highway (Gregg Pachkowski/Pensacola News Journal/AP)

AP/PA Images

A Forest Service vehicle makes its way along the I-10 highway (Gregg Pachkowski/Pensacola News Journal/AP)

State fire officials said one fire had burnt out 2,000 acres in Santa Rosa County, located just east of the city of Pensacola. This had prompted the evacuation of 1,100 homes on Wednesday.

Officials said some residents in the area had been allowed to return to their homes, although others had been told to stay away.

A stretch of Interstate 10, northern Florida’s main transportation artery, remained closed in both directions near Pensacola because of smoke.

There have been no reports of injuries or deaths.

PA