For the second consecutive day a brush fire disrupted activities for some residents in Hillsborough County.
What began as a five-acre brush fire grew to approximately 50 creating havoc for drivers along Interstate 75 just after noon on Saturday. Friday afternoon a group of teens playing with fireworks ignited a blaze that torched 10 acres in the Fishhawk Ranch neighborhood in Lithia.
It took crews with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue several hours to contain Saturday's fire that grew due to wind and dry conditions.
"The combination of those two [factors] made the fire bigger; made it worse," said HCFR Public Information Officer Ronnie Rivera.
It started just before noon near the intersection of 27th St. Southeast and 21st Ave. Southeast just west of Interstate 75. The fire burned several cars and destroyed an empty trailer.
Fortunately no injuries were reported.
Robert Phillips lives in the neighborhood where the blaze broke out. He was one of the first to call for help. But before he dialed 9-1-1 he did what he could to keep the flames from coming onto his property.
"I got my water house out, like that would do any good," Phillips explained. "I wasn't prepared to just leave everything I have and go."
Smoke created a traffic nightmare for drivers as the low visibility lead authorities to close I-75 in both directions just after 1 p.m. The southbound lanes re-opened at approximately 3:30 p.m. and the northbound lanes were back open just after 6 p.m.
"For the last month we've been getting a lot of brush fire calls, started early this year," Rivera added. "Hard to say but I think this is going to be a big brush fire season."
In Hernando County on Friday a controlled burn got out of hand and damaged over 500 acres near the Glen Lakes subdivision. Saturday afternoon crews in Fort Myers battled several brush fires that threatened homes.
As for the fire in Ruskin, investigators are not yet sure what started it. HCFR crews will monitor the situation throughout the evening to make sure none of the hot spots flare up.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?