ORLANDO, Fla., May 13 (UPI) -- Authorities in Central Florida hoped additional rain forecast Wednesday would help put out wildfires that have scorched thousands of acres.
Brush fires in Orange, Volusia and Lake counties have destroyed more than 5,500 acres with flames coming dangerously close to homes and hunting camps in some areas, The Orlando Sentinel reported.
Florida's Division of Forestry says local and state firefighters are battling more than a dozen wildfires across the region.
"It's not a matter of if we have another fire; it's a matter of when," said forestry spokesman Timber Weller. "We will have more fires."
A combination of low humidity, high temperatures and drought has created perfect conditions for sparking wildfires. A fire in southeast Volusia County near a subdivision grew to 4,500 acres Tuesday as flames threatened a dozen homes.
Lightning strikes started two smaller fires in east Orange County that burned 1,000 acres, officials said.