Brush Fires Threaten Central Florida Homes


Two major fires continued to scorch dry brush across Central Florida on Wednesday morning.

The two blazes have burned over 1,500 acres so far, WESH 2 News reported.

In Lake County, a brush fire is burning northeast of Mount Dora near Jericho Road and Royal Trails Road. Homeowners spent the night watching the flames and trying to protect their property.

Fire officials said brush fires tend to relax during the overnight hours, but in both instances the flames continued to spread because of the very dry conditions.

At least 10 homes along Jericho Road were threatened on Tuesday night, and the owners of the homes said they're exhausted and tired of the smoke.

"We got lucky. You can see down there how bad it was," Belinda Willis said.

Willis got a panicked call from her son on Tuesday to rush home because of the blaze. They built their home just four years ago.

"It took out our whole back yard, part of the middle, this over here, the kid's trampoline and the basketball hoop, all gone," Willis said.

Willis' home was one of 10 in the Royal Trails subdivision that was threatened by the fire that started burning 5 to 10 acres, but spread to over 450 acres during the night.

The fire that came so near Willis's home spread rapidly last night and at one point threatened ten homes. But, as of Wednesday morning, even though the fire was only 50 percent contained, the threat appeared to have died down, officials said.

"The conditions are so dry that it doesn't take much of a spark to start an ignition, especially in some of these light fuels we have in this area," Division of Forestry spokesman Don Ruths said.

Firefighters worked on the ground and in the air, successfully protecting the homes, but nobody will rest easy in the area anytime soon.

"I'm extremely worried. We just went through the hurricanes a couple of years ago that were really bad, and now we have fire trying to get to us," Willis said.

Flagler Fire Crews Battle 700-Acre Blaze Firefighters in Flagler County are battling a growing brush fire near the Flagler-Volusia county line on Wednesday morning.

Officials with the Division of Forestry said the fire has jumped a number of the fire lines they set up during the overnight hours, and they believe someone intentionally or accidentally started the fire that's been burning since Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities evacuated three homes that were in danger because of the blaze, and they're keeping a close eye on six additional homes. There was also some concern about the fire reaching a power grid.

More than 60 firefighters are battling the flames from the ground and air.