Garfield Road fire still not 100 percent contained

Fire managers do not expect to reach 100 percent containment this week due to hot dry conditions and the amount of heat still being produced by the fire.

According to a press release issued late Monday by the Florida Forest Service updating the media on the status of the Garfield Road Fire in Bryceville:

Friday the FFS had "2 engines, 3 dozers and 13 people; on Saturday 4 engines, 1 dozer and 12 people; and on Sunday 5 engines, 1 dozer and 10 people" at the scene. Firefighters worked day and night through Friday, ending the shift at 85 percent containment. Strong winds and dry conditions on Thursday and Friday produced several small spot fires outside of the main fire edge that were quickly contained by county resources on scene.

"Over the weekend crews, including volunteers, worked shifts from 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. mopping up hot spots 50-75’ in from the fire edge and around all of the structures in the fire area. These efforts brought the containment up to 95 percent by Sunday night. The eastern edge of the fire, through the heavy timber, is secure with a 40-foot fire line. However, containment along CR 119 and 121 has been complicated due the scattered homes, properties and numerous smoldering piles of logging slash and burned sheds close to the fire edge.

"Fire managers do not expect to reach 100 percent containment this week due to hot dry conditions and the amount of heat still being produced by the fire. A thick layer of organic soils continues to smolder underground threatening to down trees and causing visibility issues along the roads. There is still potential that strong winds could blow hot embers outside of the fire lines. Firefighters are working hard to secure those residential areas and carefully monitoring the perimeter. Managers will not call the fire contained until the areas off CR’s 121 and 119 are no longer a threat to the nearby houses.

"At last report, March 27th at 130 p.m. the aircraft and ground personnel said the fire looks very good, smoke it getting lighter and there are no issues of concern at this time."

The fire was last estimated to have burned 705 acres in West Nassau County. Two homes and 19 outbuildings were destroyed, eight homes were damaged.

The fire started when an illegal debris burn spread on March 22 during breezy, dry conditions.

 

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