30-Acre Wildfire Threatens Florida Homes


Fire crews worked overnight to keep a close watch on a wildfire that crept dangerously close to several homes in New Smyrna Beach. More than 30 homes were threatened by the fast-moving wildfire in one of Volusia County's most rural areas on Wednesday night.

The fire started just after 8:00pm off State Road 44 and intensified because of high winds and low humidity.

“The winds were picking up and forcing the fire toward these occupied dwellings," said Joe Pozzo, of Volusia County Fire Rescue.

More than 60 fire personnel worked tirelessly to fight the blaze. One homeowner had to be evacuated because the fire line was right behind his home.

One challenge for firefighters was getting water to the area. They had to use water tenders to shuttle water in because there were no fire hydrants.

“No hydrants so always have a water issue, but there are seven water tenders shuttling water out,” said Pozzo.

One woman stayed with her mom overnight, because the fire was dangerously close to her house.

“It looks terrifying,” said Kelly Tyde. “Scared to death for my mother and for my family."

The Division of Forestry and the Volusia County fire worked tirelessly overnight to keep it under control. Firefighters said their biggest challenge was winds and flying embers.

In the end, all 30 homes were spared, but the fire scorched nearly 30 acres and destroyed a trailer and two cars.

"That's very minimal for what we were faced with when we initially got here," said Pozzo.

Firefighters monitored hot spots to make sure they didn't flare up overnight and cause more damage.

"Winds have died down, humidity up, causing fire to come down,” said Pozzo.

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