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Flames kill 2 Florida firefighters, injure 2 others

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The Blue Ribbon fire is burning in north Florida
  • The firefighters die in Hamilton County
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott declares a state of emergency on June 13.

(CNN) -- A pair of firefighters died in north Florida on Monday while battling the Blue Ribbon wildfire in Hamilton County, the Florida Division of Forestry said.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the two courageous men who sacrificed their lives for the safety of others," said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. "We can rebuild the structures and restore the land, but the lives of these two heroes can never be replaced."

Two other firefighters also were injured on the same fire. Both were treated for smoke and heat-related injuries and released from local hospitals.

The Blue Ribbon Fire started Thursday and had previously been declared contained, but it flared again Monday.

Because of the extreme fire conditions in many parts of the state, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on June 13.

"Since May 1st, the (Forestry) Division has battled over 1,500 wildfires that have burned almost 200,000 acres across the state making it one of the busiest wildfire years in recent history," said Suwannee Forestry Center spokesman Kurt Wisner.