Crews already battling more than 200 wildfires across Florida faced a new threat Tuesday as a huge blaze in Georgia moved toward the state line and a smaller fire crossed it.
Besides the sheer number of fires, high wind and tinder-dry conditions made it difficult to battle the Florida blazes, which had covered about 78 square miles, or 50,000 acres. Authorities evacuated about 300 homes in north Florida on Tuesday and hundreds more residents were on evacuation standby.
"The weather expected is red-flag conditions for all of Florida," said Jim Harrell, a state Division of Forestry spokesman.
Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency for Florida last week.
In southeastern Georgia, crews were battling two fires less than 10 miles apart — one that had blackened about 100,000 acres, or 156 square miles, and another that had covered 30,000 acres.
The smaller fire crossed into Florida on Tuesday and was threatening Taylor, a small town with one store and no cell phone coverage, said Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson.
"All the homes are scattered about various roads in the county," he said. "We are just getting prepared for the fire to come into this area."
Record-sized blaze in Georgia
The bigger Georgia wildfire, that state's largest on record, was being pushed by northeasterly wind deeper into the Okefenokee Swamp and toward Florida, said Devon Dartnell, a spokesman for the firefighters' joint information center in Georgia.
Meanwhile, officials prepared to evacuate staff in Georgia's Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge as the blaze neared part of the park that has served as a fire crew command post.
In the Upper Midwest, a wildfire near the Canadian border in northeastern Minnesota had burned nearly 26 square miles since it was spotted Saturday, destroying around 40 buildings, including multimillion-dollar mansions, and forcing more than 100 people to evacuate.
Authorities said they believe it started at a campsite just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
"There are some houses up there where all there is left is the foundation," said Leif Lunde of the Cook County Sheriff's Department. No injuries were reported, but Lunde said about 30 of the burned buildings were homes or cabins; the rest were outbuildings.
In Los Angeles, a wildfire roiled through rugged brush-covered hills in the city's sprawling Griffith Park, triggering evacuations as dangerously hot and dry conditions plagued Southern California.
Blaze began around 1:30 p.m. at the park, which covers more than 4,000 acres on the hills between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. The blaze grew to 150-200 acres.
No homes were immediately threatened. Rangers evacuated the park's Vermont Canyon area, which includes the Los Angeles Zoo, two golf facilities, a merry-go-round and a magnate school, a city spokeswoman said.