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FFS ‘mopping up’ 5-acre southwest IRC wildfire; Drought raises area fire risk

NewsFFS 'mopping up' 5-acre southwest IRC wildfire; Drought raises area fire risk

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – State fire crews returned Thursday to douse any remnants of a 5-acre wildfire started the evening before in scrubland south of Oslo Road.

The fire was reported in a wooded area between 43rd and 27th avenues southwest at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, a Florida Forest Service spokesperson said.

5 ACRES:  Bulldozers dug ditches around what was described as “a pretty small fire” near the 2700 block of 17th Street SW which the agency reported fully contained by 7 p.m. Two engines were sent back Thursday to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

“There are still spots in there that need to be watered down … to be completely extinguished,” said FFS spokesperson and wildfire mitigation specialist Miguel Nevarez. “…We’re going to be putting water around the areas we put the fire line yesterday.”

HAZARDS: The fire was attributed to a lightning strike “smack dab right in the middle” of a tract of undeveloped land where Nevarez said there was no threat to homes or structures, such as utility lines or county infrastructure.

FIRE PRONE: Although lightning was listed as the cause, a meteorologist said there were no storms reported Wednesday and that a lack of rain has led to what are considered “severe drought conditions” in Indian River County.

“We’ll be more prone to fires for the foreseeable future until we get some rain; until we get out of this pattern,” said Kole Fehling with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Melbourne. He said there were “slim chances” of storms over the next week.

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