64ºF

Multiple grass fires shut down 429

Firefighters battling fires in west Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol shut down State Road 429 between mile markers nine and 15  because of grass fires.

Orange County fire officials said the first call came in around 8:40 a.m. Sunday reporting flames on the side of the road.

Because of the windy conditions, those fires quickly spread and firefighter requested additional help, officials said.

Fire officials reported the flames spread over a mile, requiring at least 50 firefighters from Orange County and Reedy Creek fire services.

At noon, the Florida Highway patrol was able to open southbound lanes, but fire officials said northbound lanes remained closed so they could continue to monitor hot spots.

Fire officials said Central Florida is in the dry season and residents and visitors must use extraordinary caution with fire outdoors. 

Any spark, whether it is from a carelessly tossed cigarette, a vehicle's exhaust or outdoor burning, can be carried by the wind and damage or destroy a whole community.