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Thu, Jan 17, 2019 22:24
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Fire crews containing 140 acre fire at Weyerhaeuser timber property

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (From WCJB) -- Florida Forest Service crews worked to contain a 140 acre wildfire at a forest area owned by Weyerhaeuser, the timber company.

Florida Forest Service specialists said it was started by lightning. The trees there are used by local customers. Forest Service crews contained 90% of the fire Thursday.

The forest is right off SR 121 near Wood Resource Recovery.

It was discovered by a Florida Forest Service airplane Wednesday night.

Crews said the rain helped tame the flames. "The rain helped actually dampen fuels, the ground fuel, moisture," said Jamie Rittenhouse, a Wildfire Mitigation Specialist.

The team is assessing weather predictions to keep the fire under control. Rittenhouse said, "The next two days we got some high winds low humidity, so our key here in the original fire lines so a spark does not jump out and start another fire."

Weyerhaeuser said in a statement, "First and foremost, we are thankful no one has been injured as a result of this wildfire. We'd like to thank the men and women of the Florida Forest Service, their quick response stopped this fire before it threatened homes and lives. While we did lose a few trees to this fire, those can be salvaged and replanted."

"They'll just have to assess down the road how much rain we get between now and the next couple weeks," said Rittenhouse.

Fire officials said even though the storms rolled through, people should still be careful with any kind of fire.

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