Ocala National Forest fire chars 650 acres
Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
A fire reported in the Ocala National Forest charred more than 650 acres by Tuesday after running up against Lake George on Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, no new fires broke out in Alachua County on Tuesday, but the Florida Division of Forestry continued to monitor several here and helped try to extinguish fires throughout the region, said DOF spokeswoman Ludie Bond.
“Today we didn’t see nearly the same amount of fire activity. That’s the good news — we didn’t see new fires in our district today, but we are still monitoring several other fires,” Bond said.
Bond said firefighters trying to control the Ocala National Forest blaze experienced a wind shift Tuesday that blew the fire toward the southwest — the opposite direction it took Monday.
The fire was reported around 12:30 p.m. Monday in the northeast area of the national forest. The fire was west of Lake George, south of the Little Lake George Wilderness Area and north of Fairy Road. A cause of the fire had not been determined by Tuesday morning.
Although no structures were threatened and no roads closed, fire officials said they focused on fully containing the fire because it was behaving so erratically.
“Weather is a key factor in determining how a fire will behave,” Bond said. “This fire was spotting way ahead of itself — just crossing the lines repeatedly. The only thing that stopped this fire was running into Lake George.”
Several big fires are now burning throughout Florida. A blaze in northern Brevard County that forced the closure of Interstate 95 Tuesday grew to 16,000 acres. A 2,000-acre fire was blackening part of St. Johns County.
Bond said crews from the Gainesville DOF district have been assisting on several of the fires.
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