Massive Brush Fires in Florida Force Evacuations, Highway Closures

A brush fire in Volusia County grew quickly Friday, forcing officials to issue mandatory evacuations. It's still not contained, but firefighters have managed to dig firebreaks around most of it.

The fire is burning in Volusia County, near Osteen, WESH 2 News reported.

Officials from the Florida Highway Patrol, Seminole County and special reserve teams that were established after the 1998 wildfires are assisting Volusia County in fighting the fire. Inmates were also brought in to help stomp out hot spots.

Initially the fire was 2 and a half acres big, but it quickly grew. So far, at least 1,000 acres have burned. Helicopters made water drops before the sun set Friday, and bulldozers plowed firebreaks. Overnight, officials made a lot of progress, especially on the north and east sides of the fire.

Several homes on Hunting Camp Road were evacuated Friday, but most of the owners have been allowed to return. The road is closed to the public; only residents can get through. Officials also said residents could be evacuated again.

The fire is burning about 2 miles west of Interstate 95 and 2 miles south state Road 44.

Officials warned drivers that they should watch for smoke and road closures.

Stay with WESH 2 News and WESH.com for more on this developing story.

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