‘I’m glad we were able to stop it quick’: Multiple fire crews battle 45-acre wildfire

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 11:53 PM EST
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HAWTHORNE, Fla. (WCJB) - On Tuesday afternoon, Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Alachua County Sheriffs deputies, closed U.S. Highway 301 due to a 45-acre wildfire.

The fire was reported south of Hawthorne near Lochloosa lake and the smoke made visibility difficult.

“Within two hours we had this fire contained to 70%,” shared Ludie Bond with Florida Forest Service. “We just completed a burnout operation of about 5-acres that was done to make sure that this fire doesn’t cross U.S Highway 301.”

RELATED: Wildfire in Alachua County causes U.S. Highway 301 to close

Alachua County Fire, Melrose Fire, Cross Creek, and the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Forest Service (FSS) put out the flames.

“Multiple dozers were here on site to put in the containment lines,” shared Bond. “We don’t know the cause of the fire but it did move very fast.”

Florida Forest Service crews used bulldozers and a fixed-wing plane to fight the flames.

“We did have our pilot up in the air,” shared FSS Incident Commander, Jason Foshee, “He was kind of relaying what he was seeing from the air too and gave us some good feedback.”

Florida Department of Transportation officials then put signs nearby to warn drivers about the smoke.

Officials reported no major damage to homes nearby and no injuries were reported. Officials will be investigating the cause of the fire.

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