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As FEMA and other government agencies prepare for what is now being called by some, the worst oil spill disaster in history, plans to evacuate the Tampa Bay area are in place.

The plans would be announced in the event of a controlled burn of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico, if wind or other conditions are expected to take the toxic fumes through Tampa Bay.

This practice is common for the US Forestry service, when fire and smoke threaten the health and well being of people.

The elderly and those with respiratory problems would be more susceptible to health risks, in the event of a controlled burn.

Estimates of the rate of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill have varied. SkyTruth.com estimates the numbers at more than 1 million gallons a day, based on satellite and Coast Guard images.

Since the April 20th explosion, which resulted in the sinking of the rig, there have been more than 650,000 gallons of chemicals poured into the Gulf of Mexico in efforts to break up the spill. However, the chemicals have come under some scrutiny recently, because of their own toxic nature.

It is not certain if the massive slick will have to be set on fire near Tampa Bay, but the possibility has not been ruled out. BP has been using controlled burns as a way to control the oil spill since the crisis began more than a month ago.