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Central Florida wildfire burns homes, scorches more than 1,900 acres

By Scott Thompson and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 8:19 PM EST, Sun March 3, 2013
Scorched property surrounds an untouched house in the Ocala National Forest just south of Salt Springs, Florida, on Sunday.
Scorched property surrounds an untouched house in the Ocala National Forest just south of Salt Springs, Florida, on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A wildfire burns 24 structures, including 10 homes, in Marion County, authorities say
  • Images show some buildings reduced to rubble, beyond their frames or concrete walls
  • The blaze prompted the partial closure of State Route 19 in central Florida
  • The fire was 80% contained early Sunday evening, a forest service spokeswoman says

(CNN) -- A wildfire jumped a road in central Florida, scorching homes and wiping out trees as it charred more than 1,900 acres, a fire official said Sunday.

Some 24 structures in Marion County had been burned by what's being called the Hopkins Prairie Fire, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Susan Blake. Ten of those buildings were homes, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service.

The blaze around Ocala National Forest was 80% contained as of early Sunday evening, Blake added. About 100 local, state and federal firefighters were on site.

Video from CNN affiliate WCJB showed ground smoldering, with most trees singed or felled, even as a few somehow still stood tall.

One picture posted on the Marion County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page featured little more than the frame of what appeared to be a charred trailer obliterated by the blaze. Another depicted a home in Sportsman's Haven -- newly purchased with a new roof in the plans -- that had been reduced to ash and rubble, spare some of its concrete walls.

The fire caused the partial closure of State Route 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Marion County includes the county seat of Ocala and sits south of Gainesville.

No injuries tied to the wildfire have been reported.

A fire line has been set up around the blaze, and crews are optimistic about the situation, said Blake.

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