Official: Evacuees return after fire caused by burning books

March 24, 2017
A burned out pickup truck sits in front of a home on Thursday March 23, 2017 that burned to the ground during a wildfire that started Wednesday near Bryceville, Fla. (Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union Via AP)

BRYCEVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Forest Service officials are letting residents return to their homes after a man burning some books started a 700-acre brush fire.

Forest Service spokeswoman Annaleasa Winter said Thursday that good weather helped firefighters battle the blaze. News media reported at least two homes were destroyed.

The fire started when a man started burning books in his yard around 2 p.m. Wednesday. The fire quickly got out of control and spread, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents.

Officials said the man was burning without a permit, and will be billed for the firefighting effort.

Nassau County Emergency Management Director Billy Estep told the Florida Times-Union (http://bit.ly/2nWxWPt ) that in addition to the two buildings destroyed, six were damaged and 19 others affected.

Officials say the fire was about 65-percent contained.