• 9-mile stretch of US-92 reopens in Volusia; Fire continues to burn


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A fire burning in Volusia County is 75 percent contained, fire officials said Friday.

     Officials closed 9 miles of US-92 between Indian Lake and Brick roads, near the Tomoka Correctional Institution, on Thursday, but the roads have since reopened.

    "When I drove up I saw a wall of smoke and they stopped traffic," said Jim Franta, who works near the fire.

    Friday afternoon fire officials with the state said GPS measurements of the fire shows it to be approximately 181 acres in size.

    Officials said despite windy conditions there have been to new active flames or breakouts.

    "The biggest problem is the woods all around it are very dry. All it takes is one burning ember to get loose," said Timber Weller with the Florida Division of Forestry.

    The fire is believed to have started when workers were burning debris at a construction site. The fire got out of control.

    The winds were gusting up to 25 mph earlier Thursday, and even switched directions, according to the Florida Division of Forestry.

    Three homes were close enough to the fire to be considered threatened, but none of them were evacuated.

    Officials expect smoky conditions to continue at least through the weekend. Winds coming from the southwest are pushing the smoke into the Tiger Bay Estates and Highridge Estates subdivisions.  On Saturday morning winds are expected to come from the north, which may push the smoke toward Interstate 4. Drivers are urged to use caution if they encounter smoke.

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