Hernando Firefighters Battle Blaze in Weeki Wachee Preserve
The fire began Saturday (April 8) evening and grew overnight, officials said. Officials are asking people to stop flying drones in the area.
WEEKI WACHEE PRESERVE – Firefighters from Hernando County Fire Rescue and several state agencies are battling a wildland fire in the Weeki Wachee Preserve that began Saturday (April 8) evening and is expected to grow overnight because of deteriorating weather conditions.
Because the fire is expected to continue and grow, firefighters will continue with aggressive back-burning. The Hernando fire department expects to burn a total of about 1,000 acres.
Smoke over Hernando Beach is extensive, but all personnel and the community is currently safe. Only residents with proof of residency will be allowed in the area.
Officials say residents should stay indoors to avoid smoke inhalation, monitor local media outlets for current information and report fires promptly.
Hernando fire and the Florida Forestry Service responded to a fire near the Hernando Beach water tower located within the Weeki Wachee Preserve about 7 p.m. Saturday. The wildfire began from what is believed to be a smoldering muck fire that happened because of a lightning strike. About 300 acres have burned thus far, with only 20 percent containment.
A local church was the only structure potentially threatened by the fire.
Shoal Line Boulevard between Jew Fish Drive and Cortez Boulevard is closed to all but local traffic. The Hernando Beach boat ramp is also closed.
The Florida Fire Service as well as the Hernando County sheriff, Hernando County Emergency Management, the Hernando County Fire Corps and the Red Cross are currently providing mutual aid.
Officials are also requesting anyone flying drones in the area of the brush fire along Shoal Line Boulevard to please refrain from doing so. The presence of drones is hindering the evaluation of the fire scene.
For information about Hernando Fire Rescue, go to co.hernando.fl.us.
Photo courtesy of Hernando County.
Hernando Fire Rescue | Weeki Wachee Preserve | Wildland Fire | Florida Forest Service | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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