Fire Closes Suncoast Bike Trail
The Florida Highway Patrol temporarily closed a portion of the Suncoast Parkway (State Road 589) on Saturday because of visibility concerns.
Troopers continue to monitor several areas for fire concerns.
PASCO COUNTY – Hours after it was reopened, Pasco County officials again closed a portion of the Suncoast Bike Trail because of a fast-moving brush fire that broke out Saturday (May 13).
The trail is closed between State Road 54 and SR 52. It will remain closed until further notice, Pasco officials said.
A portion of the Suncoast Parkway (SR 589) was also closed from SR 54 to SR 52 from 3:43 p.m. until 6:13 p.m. Saturday (May 13) because of visibility concerns. Florida Highway Patrol troopers continue to monitor several areas for fire concerns to include the following:
Pasco County: Suncoast Parkway (SR 589)
Hillsborough County: I-75 near milepost 266
Sumter County: SR 471 near Center Grade
Polk County: U.S. 27 near Masters Drive
Motorists should monitor changing weather conditions and adjust their driving as necessary. The FHP put together some safety tips for driving in bad weather:
- When visibility is low, drive slow
- Visibility can change within seconds, so use extreme caution when driving. Wildfires, smoke, fog and heavy rain can all lower visibility on the roads. It is important for drivers to drive as safely as possible in these conditions.
- Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more. Your lights help other drivers see your vehicle, so be sure they all work. Keep your windshield and headlights clean, to reduce the glare and increase visibility.
- Slow down and watch your speedometer – before you enter a patch of fog. Be sure that you can stop within the distance that you can see. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. Speed is a major factor in fog-related crashes.
- Watch out for slow-moving and parked vehicles. Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little, to hear better.
- Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. Turn off the radio and cell phone. Your full attention is required.
- Use wipers and defrosters liberally for maximum visibility. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if poor visibility is due to fog or moisture on the windshield.
- Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.
- Be patient. Avoid passing and/or changing lanes.
- Signal turns well in advance and brake early as you approach a stop.
- Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision. If you must pull off the road, signal (people tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog), then carefully pull off as far as possible. After pulling off the road, turn on your hazard flashers(hazard lights should only be used when you pull over to show that you are parked on the side of the road). Move away from the vehicle.
For information about the Florida Highway Patrol, go to flhsmv.gov.
Photo showing Area affected courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation.
Florida Highway Patrol | Wildfire | Brush Fire | Suncoast Parkway | Suncoast Bike Trail | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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