Bushfire sweeps across central Florida

Bushfire sweeps across central Florida

02 March 2011

published by www.abc.net.au

USA — The fire, which began on Monday, spread quickly. By dawn on Tuesday, it had swept over an area of more than 4,000 hectares forcing the hard-hit Brevard County to declare a state of emergency.

Schools were closed, many homes were evacuated and other residents were asked to take precautions and be prepared to deal with the effects of smoke for several days to come.

“We are advising people to use extreme caution,” said Cliff Frazier, spokesman for the Florida Division of Forestry.

Emergency response officials had not reported any injuries so far.

Strong winds spread the fire and smoke from Brevard County, east of Orlando, to Volusia County in the north, where the local emergency personnel said about 20 homes were evacuated in Scottsmoor.

The flames shut down close to 45 kilometres of the I-95, a major interstate highway that runs through Florida, from late Monday to early Tuesday, snarling traffic for tens of thousands of commuters.

Heavy rainfall is helping the efforts of firefighters and improving visibility.

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