I-95 reopens in Volusia County after brush fire burns nearby

Fire 90 percent contained near New Smyrna Beach

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A section of Interstate 95, from State Road 44 to Dunlawton Avenue, reopened Thursday morning after a 204-acre brush fire burned nearby, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The closure, prompted by poor visibility, ran in both directions of I-95 from mile marker 249 to mile marker 257, FHP spokeswoman Kim Montes said. 

"(There's) still zero visibility," Montes said earlier in the day. "Still an active fire on the shoulder. When the winds pick up, there are some issues in the median and, obviously, they'll address those. I mean, there are stumps on fire right next to the roadway."

The wildfire, dubbed the Pioneer Trail Fire, sparked Wednesday afternoon near Pioneer Trail and Sugar Mill Drive in New Smyrna Beach. Officials initially said the fire was about 15 acres; then, by 1:35 p.m., they said it was 65 acres and 20 percent contained.

As of around 2:50 p.m., officials said the fire had grown to 81 acres and was 50 percent contained. It was 105 acres by 4 p.m., and officials said they expected it to increase slightly in size, but it more than doubled and reached 204 acres by 6:30 p.m.

"Once we see improvement and it stays steady, then hopefully we can reopen this road," Montes said. "We don't want to reopen it and have to shut it back down almost immediately. So, we want to make sure that it is going to be constant in that improved visibility."

Pioneer Trail was also closed from Williamson Boulevard to Sugar Mill Drive.

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The fire is 90 percent contained, officials said.

No structures have been endangered and no evacuations have been ordered. 

Check back for more information on this developing story.

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