Fire

Two forest rangers killed battling Florida wildfire

Two forest rangers were killed and two others were injured while fighting a wildfire in north Florida near the Georgia line.

All four forest rangers were with the Florida Division of Forestry and they were battling the Blue Ribbon Fire in Hamilton County.

Josh Burch, 31, of Lake City and Brett Fulton, 52, of White Springs were killed. Both Burch and Fulton were married and had two children. Burch worked for the Forestry Division for more than 10 years and Hamilton for more than nine years.

The Blue Ribbon Fire, which began June 16, had been contained but dry conditions allowed it to flare up again on Monday. Burch and Fulton were operating tractors to cut fire lines to keep the blaze from spreading further when they were overrun by flames and killed.

Rangers Robert Marvin and Stephen Carpenter attempted to assist Burch and Fulton and they were injured while doing so. Marvin and Carpenter were treated at local hospitals for smoke-related injuries and released.

Since May 1, the Forestry Division has battled more than 1,500 wildfires, officials say. Those blazes have burned more than 200,000 acres.

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