Brush fires ignite in Central Florida, across state

Homes threatened in Marion County

DUNNELLON, Fla. – Brush fires ignited Monday afternoon in Central Florida, threatening homes in Marion County and temporarily closing a road in Brevard County.

The Marion County blaze was reported on Southwest 186th Court in Dunnellon, where a barn was burned and nearby homes were in danger.

The Florida Forest Service went out to the scene. As of 2:43 p.m., the fire was nearly 100 percent contained. But heavy timber was still burning inside the contained area, which covered about 4 acres.

Cocoa police closed State Road 524 east of Cox Road near Pinyon Drive due to a brush fire, but the road reopened just after 9 p.m., officials said. Fire crews remained in the area, monitoring for any possible flare-ups. People were told to use caution.

Pictures: Brush fire in Cocoa Beach

The situation was under control, but due to smoky conditions creating visibility issues and fire personnel with trucks still in the area, the road between Cox Road and Lance Boulevard remains closed, Cocoa police said Monday night.

Drivers were told to use alternate routes around this area.​

Video from Sky 6 earlier in the day showed thick smoke billowing over State Road 524. No evacuations were needed, but one structure sustained minor damage to the roof when flames reached debris in the gutters, police said.

The fire covered about 5 acres. 

The causes of the fires are not known.

Windy conditions have persisted in Central Florida over the last few days, spreading flames from brush fires across the region.

Over the weekend, the Florida Forest Service responded to 26 new wildfires, which burned more than 2,500 acres, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said residents and Florida visitors can now track wildfires through the FLBurnTools app available for IOS and Android phones.

Putnam said in a news release Monday that residents can help stop preventable wildfires.

“Florida’s wildland firefighters are prepared to battle increasingly hazardous wildfires due to abnormally dry and windy conditions,” Putnam said. “Citizens can do their part by keeping preventable human-caused wildfires at bay and preparing their families and homes for wildfire.”

The Florida Forest Service suggested these tips:

  • Develop and implement a family wildfire action plan
  • Call 911 or a local Florida Forest Service field unit office immediately in the event of a wildfire
  • Obey Florida’s outdoor burning laws
  • Never burn on windy days
  • Always keep a water source and fire suppression tools on hand when burning yard debris
  • Never leave an outdoor fire or hot grill unattended
  • Avoid parking vehicles on dry grass. 

Check back with News 6 for more on this story.

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