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Florida wildfire started by state contractor attempting controlled burn, investigation finds

The company was hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
In this June 25, 2018 photo, Mike Thornburg tries to salvage items from his mother's home after wildfires ravaged the neighborhood in Eastpoint, Fla. Adam Putnam, Florida's agriculture commissioner, said Wednesday, June 27, 2018, that a controlled burn by state contractors sparked a wildfire that destroyed 36 homes and burned more than 800 acres.
In this June 25, 2018 photo, Mike Thornburg tries to salvage items from his mother's home after wildfires ravaged the neighborhood in Eastpoint, Fla. Adam Putnam, Florida's agriculture commissioner, said Wednesday, June 27, 2018, that a controlled burn by state contractors sparked a wildfire that destroyed 36 homes and burned more than 800 acres.
Published Jun. 27, 2018

A wildfire in Eastpoint that destroyed 36 homes and burned more than 800 acres was caused by a state contractor attempting a controlled burn, an investigation has found.

Wildland Fire Services, Inc., a company hired by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, caused the wildfire during a prescribed burn, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said in a press release on Wednesday. His office conducted the investigation into the fire.

A prescribed or controlled burn is a technique used to manage forest growth and prevent large devastating fires in the future.

The investigation ruled out lightning, arson and accident.

"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," Putnam said in a release.