Bees Attack Fla. Firefighters Battling Brush Fire


Officials said two Brevard County firefighters are recovering after they were stung by bees while extinguishing a brush fire.

The one-acre fire flared up in West Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon at about 4:45 p.m., and it moved slowly toward the Mustard Seed Kitz Preschool and Quail Run Mobile Home Estates. At about 7 p.m., it was burning near Minton and Eber roads.

Firefighters were cutting a line around the fire to contain it when bees swarmed them and started stinging. Since fire gear is not does not completely cover all areas, bees found a way to get into their suits and also stung their exposed skin.

Local 6 contacted Brevard County Fire Rescue and found that one firefighter remains hospitalized in stable condition at Holmes Regional Medical Center, but the other has since been released.

The fire is now contained, officials said, but crews plan to monitor the area throughout the night and return on Thursday to extinguish the fire completely. Officials said the hot spots within the burn area are not expected to spread to the surrounding area, but smoky conditions will remain overnight.

Florida Highway Patrol was contacted and advised that traffic on Interstate 95 may be affected overnight as smoke settles in the area, and drivers have been urged to use caution as visibility may be affected. Eber Road was closed in both directions, but was expected to reopen by 8:15 p.m.

Crews from Brevard County Fire Rescue, Division of Forestry, and the Melbourne Fire Department all assisted in responding to the blaze. Engines and brush trucks are stationed to the east and west of the fire to protect nearby structures as a precaution.

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