BITHLO, Fla. (AP) _ At least six homes were evacuated Wednesday near Orlando as flames spread through a rural neighborhood, and lightning strikes sparked new fires in the drought-stricken state.

Flames from a 100-acre fire came within 200 yards of homes in the Bithlo section of Orange County. The blaze destroyed one fire truck, and firefighters who were trapped nearby had to be rescued by a sheriff's helicopter.

In the northern town of Waldo, a 4,400-acre fire that firefighters had successfully battled apparently was restarted by an arsonist. It was burning in a wooded area about two miles from homes.

Duane Durgee, deputy director of field operations for the Florida Division of Forestry, said a tropical depression developing in the Gulf of Mexico may hamper firefighting efforts.

``If it brought more rain than lightning, we would be happy,'' he said. ``But right now, the opposite is happening.''