PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- Three fires are burning Wednesday afternoon on the same day that commissioners issued a county-wide burn ban.
Gov. Rick Scott ordered the National Guard to provide help the fight brush fires in the state, including putting a Blackhawk helicopter on standby in Tampa to fight fires in the area.
Here are updates from the Florida Forest Service on the fires:
SOUTH WIND FIRE (Hudson)
At 6:48 p.m., Pasco County reported that Pasco Fire Rescue and Florida Forest Service have contained the 18-acre South Wind Fire along Old Dixie Highway and New York Avenue in Hudson. There are more than 30 pieces of firefighting equipment at the scene. FFS made more than 30 water drops from its helicopter each containing 300 gallons of water. No homes were threatened but the fire burned a shed, boat and an 18-wheeler.
BIKE TRAIL FIRE (Starkey Park, New Port Richey)
Another wildfire was reported after the early press conference and has led to a mandatory evacuation of Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey.
The Campground fire is about 75 acres and 100 percent contained. No structures are currently threatened by the fire. 9300 gallons of water have been dumped on the fire according to Judy Tear of the Florida Forest Service Withlacoochee.
SILVER PALM FIRE
The Silver Palm Fire near the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 52 is about 35 acres in size and is 60 percent contained.
The FFS said that the fire is 60 to 100 yards away from residences and is moving slowly through the swampy vegetation.
Bulldozers and mulch units are currently creating a line of about 20 yards behind the homes where firefighters will begin a backburn once the fire reaches that area. FFS said that the low winds are helping keep the fire in check, but the terrain is difficult for firefighters to start putting water on it.
Residents were asked to not spray water on the woodlands as that would slow the burning and create smoke. Watering lawns is permitted.
Individuals with respiratory problems should close their windows and turn on air conditioning units due to heavy smoke.
Silver Palm Boulevard, leading into the Sun Lake subdivision, has reopened to local traffic. Residents had been under orders to shelter in place to allow fire vehicles to move freely.
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