Pumpkin Hill fire now 90 percent contained

5:55 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A fire that began as a 70-acre prescribed burn on Tuesday at the Pumpkin Hill Preserve State Park and grew to 400 acres is now 90 percent contained.

Crews are mopping up hot spots with water and blading fire lines with bulldozers, according to Annaleasa Winter with the Florida Forest Service.

The crews include four Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department engines, two JFRD brush trucks, six Florida Park Service brush trucks, Winter said.

Seventeen JFRD personnel, six Florida Forest Service personnel and 12 Florida Park Service personnel are also on scene.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office encouraged residents on Black Hammock Island to stay inside their homes Wednesday afternoon.

One concern is low visibility on the road. A First Coast News crew on the scene reported it was difficult to see traffic and the surrounding conditions.

The fire started around noon Tuesday while the Florida Park Service was doing a prescribed burn on the reserve.

Initially, the fire was controlled to 70 acres, but authorities said weather caused the flames to spread to roughly 400 acres.

Mike Work, a supervisor with the Florida Forest Service, said Wednesday morning the same amount of acreage is still burning.

Sheffield Road and Darcy Drive off of Cedar Point Road are back open, according to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Tom Francis.

All lanes of Cedar Point Road are also back open, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Work said crews overnight had help from moist conditions and that the weather is more favorable to putting out the flames Wednesday.

Firefighting efforts are continuing with assistance from the Florida Forest Service, the JFRD and the Salvation Army.

First Coast News

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