Smell that? 500-acre brush fire sends smoke across Central Florida

Blaze 50% contained near Ocala National Forest

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A large brush fire in Marion County is sending smoke into Lake, Orange and Seminole counties, prompting calls from residents concerned a fire is burning nearby.

Officials say 50 homes were evacuated Wednesday as a 505-acre brush fire burns in Marion County. 

Marion County Fire Rescue said the brush fire, which was 50% contained Thursday morning, started in the Ocala National Forest. Water drops were conducted by five helicopters and a fixed-wing tanker.

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Officials said no structures have been damaged, but Lake Bryant Mobile Home and RV Park was evacuated as a precaution. Families were later allowed back into their homes.

Crews with the U.S. Forest Service, Florida Forest Service, Marion County Fire Rescue and Marion County Sheriff's Office were all at the scene.

It could be days until the fire is fully contained, according to investigators.

The cause of the fire is not known.

Most of Central Florida’s nine counties are experiencing moderate to very high fire danger, according to the Florida Fire Service Fire Danger Index.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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