TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Forest Service is currently battling a 400-acre wildfire outside Jacksonville, and is encouraging motorists and residents to remain clear of the area.
Two separate wildfires broke out approximately 24 hours ago off U.S. 17 and Yellow Bluff Road near Jacksonville. While the Florida Forest Service has deployed fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, and 29 wildland firefighters to battle the blazes, strong easterly winds intensified the fires throughout yesterday. As a result, the Florida Highway Patrol made the decision to close I-95 in both directions due to heavy smoke in the area.
As of 5:00 PM ET, the fire is estimated at 400 acres and 25 percent contained. The fire’s western edge continues to burn directly adjacent to I-95, and 13 firefighting bulldozer crews are continuing to build fire lines. I-95 remains closed in both directions at this time, per the Florida Highway Patrol. No structures are threatened at this time.
“These wildfires can build quickly and can be extremely dangerous, so residents in affected areas should continue to follow directions from state and local officials,” said Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried, whose Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services includes the Florida Forest Service. “With the Memorial Day travel weekend approaching, all travelers should closely monitor the media for updates on safety and I-95’s reopening. We thank our brave Forest Service firefighters for working swiftly to control these wildfires.”
–Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services