Orange Lake fire now covers 305 acres
It's one of six fires in the area that are being monitored
Published: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.
The Orange Lake Fire now covers about 305 acres of mostly swampland in eastern Alachua County. It is one of six fires being monitored by the Florida Division of Forestry crews headquartered in Gainesville. The fires were slowed but not extinguished by the rain this week.
The Orange Lake Fire was reported Sunday afternoon on the south side of County Road 325, about a mile west of Island Grove. Forestry spokeswoman Ludie Bond said the fire was doubling in size every two hours until Monday, when slightly more than a half inch of rain cooled the fire and slowed its progress. More rain on Thursday night and Friday morning helped fire crews, Bond said, but it was not nearly enough precipitation to douse the blaze.
"We are still putting water on it every day from brush trucks because it is still very hot," Bond said. "There are stumps burning and pockets of unburned vegetation inside the containment lines that we are dealing with now."
The Orange Lake Fire is one of six wildfires that continue to be monitored as another blast of dry, cold, windy weather moves into North Florida. Forestry crews are continuing to keep an eye on two other fires in Alachua County, one in Marion County and two in Putnam County.
Bond said residents near the fires should use caution while driving in the early-morning and late-evening hours because there is potential for fog or smoke to blanket roadways and significantly reduce visibility.
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