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Fire stations in Sarasota, Manatee counties send units to battle southern brush fires

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SARASOTA CO., Fla. (WWSB) -- Fire stations in Sarasota and Manatee County are heading to Collier County to help firefighters there combat multiple brush fires.

The Collier Country Emergency Operations Center sent out an urgent request for immediate assistance to battle two large brush fires threatening homes and infrastructure. 

In an effort to answer the call for help, the Region Six Task Force was activated which sent units from Venice, Sarasota, Englewood, Charlotte and North Port Fire. Firefighters were sent in to battle a 500-acre, and a separate 350-acre brush fire in North Naples.  

According to the Florida Forest Service, more than 100 separate wild land fires are currently burning throughout the state. Thus far, over 22,000 acres have been affected. 

On April 11, Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 17-120 declaring a state of emergency for Florida. Under the declaration, all outside open burning is prohibited. 

Residents of these counties are asked to keep an eye out for suspicious activity that could potentially ignite a fire. Call the Arson Alert Hotline at 1-800-342-5869 to report this activity.