Indian River County brush fire likely man-made

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla.-- Firefighters say that a 60-acre brush fire that forced I-95 to be shut down for hours on Wednesday afternoon in Indian River Co. was likely caused by people.

Neighbors like Jerry Ciccone say this was as close a call as they've had to their homes being threatened.

"It happens just about every year unfortunately, somewhere close by," said Ciccone.

Firefighting helicopters collected water from the pond in his backyard.

The flames were a few thousand feet away.

"I looked up the path yesterday and actually saw a fire," said Ciccone.

Pilots made 75 trips to fill their 360-gallon tanks as they fought the 60-acre fire.

It forced commuters like Rich Rothleder off their normal routes

"All I saw was the smoke up ahead. I just detoured as quick as I could," said Rothleder of Port St. Lucie.

It also stopped traffic cold.

"It's been years since I've seen something like that," said Robert Parker of Vero Beach. "It looked pretty awesome."

Firefighters with the Florida Fire Service began investigating while they fought final flare-ups and checked for hot spots Thursday.

They suspect this one was man-made.

"It could've started from anything even someone throwing a cigarette butt on the floor," said Robert Doerr with the Florida Fire Service.

Ciccone was thankful that firefighters were there to put the fire out before it approached his home.

"I've never had a problem with my house," said Ciccone. "I think they do an awesome job and they're the best."
 

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