Smoke from brush fire shuts down State Road 44, fire officials say

Lake County Fire Rescue & Forestry battles fire at SR 44, Royal Trails Road

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – The Lake County Sheriff's Office said State Road 44 will remain closed between Royal Trails Road and 44A Sunday evening as crews work to put out a brush fire.

Lake County Fire Rescue and Forestry were battling the fire Saturday afternoon at S.R. 44 and Royal Trails Road.

The 400-acre fire was 15 percent contained as of Saturday evening, Florida Forest Service Withlacoochee personnel said. Two helicopters were deployed to dump water.

The Sheriff's Office said evacuations may be necessary.

The Sheriff's Office said S.R. 44 will be closed overnight between Royal Trails Road and 44A due to the fire. Drivers were advised to find an alternate route.

Lake County Schools officials said Sunday night that school bus transportation would not be available to some schools Monday.

Lake County fire officials said the fire was more than 780 acres and 40 percent contained around 7 p.m. Sunday.

Crews worked with FFS officials throughout Saturday night to help contain it, Lake County Fire Rescue said. 

Fire Rescue said 20 homes were protected and saved. 

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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