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April 12, 2000
Washington, DC -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Florida fight the uncontrolled Merritt fire located in Collier County. FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved late yesterday after learning that the blaze was endangering more than 500 homes and forced the evacuation of 100 residents of Golden Gate Estates located about 15 miles northeast of Naples, Fla. The fire, which broke out last Saturday, had burned 9,400 acres of land at the time of the request.