Areas affected: Central Florida Date: June-July 1998 Death toll: No concrete data, but during this period of time ¿the number of emergency room visits for asthma was 91 percent higher than during the same months in 1997 and emergency room visits for acute exacerbation of bronchitis increased by 132 percent,¿ according to Southern Forests for the Future. Damages? Destroyed at least 126 homes. According to a study by USDA Forest Service economists that appeared in the Journal of Forestry in 2001, the Florida wildfires of June-July 1998 burned about 500,000 acres and cost at least $600 million.
Gary Bogden, Orlando Sentinel
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