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Brush Fire Closes I4 U.S. 192 to State Road 535

Discussion in 'General News & Rumors' started by Wendy, May 25, 2012.

  1. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    The Interstate 4 near Walt Disney World was closed earlier today after a "suspicious" brush fire ignited, sending smoke across the roadway.

    The fire, which was said to be around 13 acres before it was contained and is located near the Orange-Osceola county line, a few miles from Disney World and the Orlando tourist district.

    Florida Highway Patrol has reopened I-4 in both directions at around 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Officials said they're investigating the fire as "suspicious."

    It was not a controlled burning that got out of hand," said Battalion Chief David Sullivan of Orange County Fire Rescue.

    Operations at the Orlando-area attractions weren't affected by the blaze, but guests trying to enter and leave the parks encountered major traffic backups.

    The Florida Highway Patrol shut down eastbound I-4 at Osceola Parkway, which is exit 65 and diverted traffic to State Road 417. Westbound I-4 was closed at State Road 535 and traffic was being diverted onto State Road 528.

    Traffic congestion was also reported in Osceola County on State Road 417, as drivers try to navigate around the road closure. The FHP suspended tolls on State Road 528 and State Road 417.

    According to the FHP website, there was zero visibility on I-4, forcing the shutdown.

    FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said although the fire itself isn't the main concern anymore, the smoke is still a huge safety issue.

    "We've got to look and see that we've got a clear path through this stretch and make sure drivers have a safe route to drive through," Montes said. "Daylight hours are not typically our problem with visibility."

    Montes said the early morning hours and overnight are the main concerns for visibility and that the roads could be opened and closed again throughout the weekend as the weather changes.
  2. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    It was a MESS. Ugh. So glad I didn't get caught up in it. It's reopened now, but if the fires continue or flare again, they'll shut it down. I don't know if anyone remembers but the Green Swamp caught fire back in 2001, and it was a mess then too. Ash falling like snow...
  3. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah, came back that way tonight and smoke hanging around and a very smoky smell for miles

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