Brush fires near Orange City cause partial closure of Interstate 4
PHOTO COURTESY SUSAN PYNCHON
Brush fires — Six or seven small brush fires in the Orange City area send dark plumes of smoke skyward this afternoon, April 15. The smoky fires caused closure of part of Interstate 4 and some voluntary evacuations in Orange City.
UPDATE 10:39 a.m. Monday April 17: Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Allen said Monday morning that the fire was 75 percent contained.
"Crews worked very hard yesterday, even with the wind against us," she said. "No road closures; however, Veterans Memorial Parkway was very smokey this morning, but lifted as the sun came up."
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES BELOW
Six or seven small brush fires in the Orange City area caused some people to evacuate their homes and the Florida Highway Patrol to close part of Interstate 4, authorities said Saturday afternoon.
Large plumes of dark smoke were visible looking south from DeLand.
According to Volusia County Fire Rescue, the six or seven fires were concentrated between East Graves Avenue and Enterprise Road.
“There’s a lot of smoke from all of them,” a dispatcher said, especially near I-4. She said firefighters were at all the scenes, with units responding from the county, Orange City, DeLand and Seminole County.
Some residents voluntarily left their homes because of the fires, but no mandatory evacuations were ordered, the dispatcher said. She didn’t mention any structures being damaged or destroyed.
The smoke caused FHP troopers to close part of the Interstate near mile markers 111 and 112, said spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes.
“At this time all eastbound lanes remain open. [One] westbound lane (the outside lane) is closed,” Montes said. “Troopers on scene advise that the smoke is blowing away from the interstate.”
But conditions can change at a moment’s notice, she added, urging motorists to monitor the FHP’s live traffic conditions web page for updates. That can be found at www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/traffic-incidents/.
— Joe Crews, email@example.com