Massive brush fire that shut down I-95 in Brevard fully contained
Fire caused by lightning strike, authorities say
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County fire officials say the blaze that briefly shut down Interstate 95 on Saturday is now fully contained after burning through 75 acres.
Authorities also confirmed that the brush fire – one of the largest to happen in Brevard this year – was caused by lightning, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
Sunday, the interstate was open while no new flare-ups were reported.
The interstate was shut down at about 5 p.m. Saturday evening after the area was threatened by flames and smoke from a massive brush fire west of I-95 on Jones Road, between Aurora Road and Lake Washington Road in Melbourne.
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As of 9:30 p.m. the fire was 95 percent contained, the Florida Forestry Service said on social media.
Multiple crews from the Melbourne and Palm Bay Fire Departments, along with Brevard County Fire Rescue and the Florida Forestry Service, engaged the blaze. The complement included seven engines, five brush trucks, four bulldozers cutting fire breaks and a helicopter dropping water from the air.
A video posted on social media showed massive flames visible above the treetops from a nearby residence, Florida Today reported. Other videos showed a helicopter extracting water from a lake and dropping it on a burning structure.
Originally reported at about five acres, dead foliage on the ground allowed the fire to quickly spread, blanketing 45 acres at its peak Saturday. That later That figure was grow to 75 acres as authorities used better mapping to determine the actual size of the area impacted by the fast-moving fire.
The Sheriff's Office was assessing the conditions, troopers said.
The fire in the South County is in City of Melbourne’s jurisdiction. BCFR is assisting with multiple resources right now. For information on the size, the Fl Forest Service will be the best source. pic.twitter.com/R26KvA5pjt— BCFRpio (@BCFRpio) April 7, 2018
Multiple structures were in the projected path of the flames, although crews were gaining ground on the fire and working to keep those structures safe, Chief Chuck Bogle, of the Melbourne Fire Department, said.
"I just spoke with the Battalion Chief on the scene, and he feels like he has a pretty good handle on it," Bogle said.
Officials confirmed at least one structure was affected, a shed or garage on the property of a nearby residence. Other reports suggested multiple structures were compromised but official confirmation is still pending.
Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates.
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