Firefighters in final stages of containing Myakka State Forest fire

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Firefighters are in the final stages of containing a brush fire at the Myakka State Forest that began on Saturday night. The Florida Forest Service said the fire is 90% contained in their last update, and crews were “doing mop-up and clean-up lines.”

The brush fire began in the Gulf Cove neighborhood in Charlotte County on Saturday before jumping to the Myakka State Forest.

In total, the brush fire covered 150 acres.

Fire crews fully contained the fire on Saturday night, but flare-ups began burning on Sunday.

“Right now, we got a couple units out there going back over the lines that they put in Saturday and yesterday. And they’re smoothing them out making them wider if needed. And just making sure that when the wind picks up this afternoon that the fire doesn’t have anywhere to go,” said Patrick Mahoney, a wildfire mitigation specialist with the Florida Forest Service Myakka River District.

Scott Alpin lives nearby and came over to check things out. “It’s very scary and I’m just thankful that people are okay,” said Alpin. “We just set up there, watch them in the helicopter come in and drop the basket because it was too dark. I don’t know why, but that’s what they did. But you can see the fire burning well bad.”

Todd Dunn is the public relations manager for Charlotte County Fire and EMS. He wants to remind everyone there is a burn ban in effect in Charlotte County. That means no burning of yard waste, no recreational fires, and no use of fireworks.

“Nothing that could cause a fire like to get out of control. And as a result, burn through like you saw here recently,” said Dunn. “Usually when that burn ban is enacted, it means it’s really dry. And it’s usually during this time of year where we don’t have any rain and with the gusty winds, if any, the smallest flame happens, any kind of fire source quickly becomes of fire can quickly become a fire that’s out of control.”

The Florida Forest Service – Myakka also reminds people to clean off their roof and gutters because an ember from a fire landing on dry debris can lead to a fire at your home.

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