(Reuters) - Florida officials on Sunday lifted evacuation orders for about 2,000 homes threatened by wildfires in drought-stricken central and southwestern parts of the state, after rainfall helped firefighters battle the blazes.
As of Sunday morning, a 5,500-acre wildfire in Collier County in southwest Florida that has destroyed nine homes was 50 percent contained, according to officials.
In Polk County in central Florida, a wildfire that charred 700 acres was 75 percent contained. A spokesman for the sheriff's office on Saturday had said that fire was being investigated as suspicious.
Governor Rick Scott, who declared a state of emergency on April 11, said in a statement on Sunday that the rain had been a blessing.
"While we are hopeful that the weather will continue to provide relief, we know these fires can change at a moment’s notice due to wind and rain, and it is important that we remain alert and prepared," he said.
Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by David Gregorio