A wildfire on Monday, 6 March 2000, burned 304-acres in Flagler county, north of Bunnell and closed highway U.S.1 from noon to 5:30 p.m. Fire crews from units in Flagler, Volusia and St. Johns counties fought the fire. Firefighters kept flames away from causing any structural damage. The cause of the Bunnell fire was unknown at that time. The drought index in Flagler county was at 478 at the time of fire ignition. This index is based on a scale of 0 to 800 with 800 being extremely dry. Humidity was about 38 percent. The dry climate and the shifting winds hindered a quick and successful response. Once fire fighters had the fire under control, the wind had shifted on 180 degree different direction. The wildfires in March 2000 may foretell a long fire season.
Fig. 1.-3. A helicopter regularly dumping 300 gallons of water and the proximity of a suitable fire break helped firefighters contain the Bunnell fire, the biggest blaze in Flagler County after about four hours of heavy firefighting. The helicopter and ground fire crews were also supported by a small reconnaissance plane. Helicopter and plane had to fly through dense smoke.
Fig. 4.-7. Plural fire breaks and regular water dumps, via helicopter aided firefighters along U.S. 1 bringing the fire under control. The “Bambi Bucket” contains 300 gallons of water, which optional can be enriched with fire retardant.
Fig. 8. and 9. The highway U.S.1 was closed for several hours between State Road 100 and Palm Coast Parkway (the picture here displays the status minutes before the shut-down). “Fire police” is directing the traffic.
Fig. 10. and 11. Fire fighters guarded U.S. 1 to make sure the fire did not jump to the western side. 49 local firefighters battled the fire that burned west of the Palm Coast in the subdivision of Cypress Knoll and headed southwest towards U.S. 1 north of Bunnell.
Fig. 12. and 13. Authorities also disconnected a power line as a precautionary move. The power lines on the other side were also important fire breaks and safety zones for the firefighters.
Fig. 14. and 15. While the fire was in the woods between Bunnell and Palm Coast, some of the land is being developed for a golf course and a subdivision called “Oak Branch”. The golf course is under construction. The big swaths of dirt that will become the future fairways helped provide some natural fire walls.
Fig. 16. and 17. The Salvation Army set up a trailer to provide more than 50 firefighters and emergency personnel with food and drinks.
Fig. 18.-20. Altogether, nine fire trucks, five brush trucks and two tankers were used to contain the fire along U.S.1.
Fig. 21.-23. This is the post-burning situation in that area. Fire fighters evaluate the situation and searching for the fire reason.