Central Florida Wildfires Prompt Evacuations, Road Closures

May 13, 2008

Brush fires shut down roads in central Florida on May 11 and forced evacuations, authorities said.

A portion of Interstate 95 in Brevard County was shut down because of heavy smoke from a blaze near Malabar, the Orlando Sentinel reported on its Web site.

In another part of the county, a fire forced residents out of about 100 to 200 homes near Cocoa, said Brevard County Fire and Rescue spokesman Orlando Dominguez.

That fire was larger than 100 acres, Dominguez said.

Between 500 to 600 acres burned in Voulsia County, causing additional road closures and another evacuation, Florida Division of Forestry spokesman Timber Weller said.

Weller said he was not sure how many residents of the neighborhood, which is located near Daytona Beach, were forced to leave their homes. He said 20-mph winds and dry conditions made the fire especially challenging for crews.

“Control is extremely difficult and there’s basically several small subdivisions in the area and fires burning, in some cases, very close to the homes,” Weller said.

Information from: Orlando Sentinel,

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