I-95 in Brevard County reopens as firefighters battle 1,600-acre wildfire

Voluntary evacuation for several Indian River streets has been lifted

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Interstate 95 reopened Friday evening in Brevard County after being closed for most of the day due to smoke from a 1,600-acre brush fire in neighboring Indian River County, according to authorities.

The fire broke out around 8 a.m. at the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve in Indian River and was completely uncontained as of 2:30 p.m. By 8 p.m. the fire was 40% contained, according to officials.

The cause of the blaze is not known.

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Brevard County officials said I-95 closed in both directions Friday morning due to the fire. As of 5:45 p.m. lanes in both directions near the Palm Bay Road exit had reopened in Brevard County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Northbound and southbound lanes on I-95 in Indian River County have reopened.

“This is the biggest fire we’ve seen this year in (Indian River County) and we’ll be working well into the night to contain it,” said a Florida Forest Service representative, who added that high winds are a concern because embers could spread and spark another fire.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the wildfire in St. Sebastian River State Park.

The Fellsmere Police Department said no homes or structures are believed to be threatened but residents should continue to monitor the situation.

A voluntary evacuation notice was issued Friday evening for some areas in Indian River County, the voluntary evacuation has been lifted.

The wind is pushing the fire in a south by southwest direction.

Several agencies are battling the fire, including nine Florida Forest Service bulldozers and a helicopter.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.