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Ormond Beach Observer Saturday, Mar. 2, 2013 7 years ago

UPDATED: County: brush fire exceeds 1,000 acres, 75% contained


The first started approximately 9:30 a.m. in Flagler County and quickly spread into Ormond Beach.


Updated 7:54 p.m. - The county issued a statement saying fire crews have contained 75% of the fire and the evacuation order has been lifted for residents living in the Cypress Place, Deer Creek and Southern Pines subdivisions.

However, a "mandatory evacuation order remains in effect for 50 homes in the other areas of the original evacuation order," the statement said.

Posted 7:38 p.m. - Volusia County has called for the evacuation of 300 homes in Ormond Beach, the result of a  wildfire that has burned more than 1,000 acres.

The fire started at approximately 9:30 a.m. in Flagler County, and Florida Forest Service spokesman Greg Dunn said, as of 6:30 p.m., fire crews had 0% of the fire contained.

All homes north of Airport Road, south of Durrance Lane and west of Interstate 95 were told, via the county’s emergency notification system or citizens walking door-to-door, to evacuate. The area includes the Southern Pines subdivision and the Deer Creek section of Hunter’s Ridge, among others.

I-95, from Granada Boulevard to U.S. 1, was shut down shortly after 5 p.m., and all interstate traffic was diverted to Ormond Beach surface roads, specifically Granada Boulevard and U.S. 1, resulting in traffic gridlock.

The American Red Cross set up an initial shelter at its Daytona beach office, 341 White St., in Daytona Beach, and will address the need to open an additional shelter as the situation progresses.

Crews, which include about 100 firefighters from multiple local agencies, will work through the night to fight the fire and protect property, Dunn said. He added as of 6:30 p.m., only a barn and chicken coop had been damaged.

Authorities said they were still unsure what specifically started the fire, which quickly spread into Volusia County and Ormond Beach due to high winds and low humidity. Ormond Beach Fire Chief Bob Mandarino said earlier in the day, “Right now, the wind is our enemy.”

Authorities said they had been using helicopters to drop water on the fire, but those flights would be suspended at 8 p.m., due to limited visibility.

Volusia County Animal Control assisted residents with the evacuation of horses and other large animals from their property.

Andrew O'Brien and Jared Mauldin contributed to this report.

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