Port Orange brush fire sends smoke toward I-95

Gate 5 Fire burns in remote area near Williamson Boulevard

Debris and forest fires may become more common as drier conditions persist

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – A brush fire broke out Tuesday morning in Volusia County, sending smoke near Interstate 95, officials said.

The blaze, dubbed the Gate 5 Fire and estimated at at least 25 acres, burned in a remote area on private property in Port Orange near Williamson Boulevard, according to the Florida Forestry Service.

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Officials later said the fire was 100% contained.

The FFS said no homes were threatened, but smoke was visible on I-95.

“Smoke is visible from I-95 but is not impacting the roadway at this time. We continue to work with FHP on updates for this fire,” the FFS tweeted.

It’s not known what caused the fire.

The Florida Forest Service said the heat and drier conditions pose a serious risk this time of year. The agency said May is a time of year they watch, but the fire danger is becoming more of a year-round issue.

Bart Walker, deputy chief for Marion County Fire Rescue sayid May is typically the month they see the most activity,

“This particular week, in general, leading into Memorial Day is kind of our make it or break it time for wildland fire during this time of year,” Walker said.

Walker said crews will step up staffing and patrols, so they’re ready when a fire starts. The Florida Forest Service said it also keeps a watchful eye from above. The agency uses a spotter plane to look for smoke, especially after lightning strikes.

Fire crews say the heat ahead helps build storms, but until we get more rain, lightning is a concern.

“The rainfall of course is a benefit to us, but until we have a cycle of getting daily rain our fuels are dryer and fairly susceptible to lightning strikes,” Walker said.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.