Florida Forest Service still searching for cause of 75 acre wildfire

Investigators still don't know what caused a wildfire that scorched 75 acres in St. Lucie County on Wednesday.  The Florida Forest Service spent Thursday at the wildfire's location in Fort Pierce and plan to return Friday morning.

"The fire itself tells us a story," says Florida Forest Service Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Melissa Yunas.

The story here is scorched trees and burned land in the neighborhood around Tree Top Trail off Indrio Road. It threatened several homes and forced some residents to evacuate. 

"We've gone around talking to residents," says Yunas, "We've talked to first responders and getting their side of the story."

Some neighbors point to an area of the Savannas Preserve off Tozour Road and U.S. Route 1 where St. Lucie County had a prescribed burn Wednesday before the wildfire was reported.

"It was suppose to be a controlled fire," says resident Ilan Bonhomme.

"That looks like it got out of hand and came into our neighborhood," says homeowner Rebecca Gregory.

The Florida Forest Service is looking at all possibilities.

"One of them is a power pole," says Yunas, "People have told us they think it’s a power pole. Another person has told us it’s from the county."

The Forest Service will look at scorched trees and other signs to determine the cause. They also look for direction.

"You can see the leaves have actually frozen and they’re heading this way," says Yunas.

It could take days to determine the cause but if they find someone at fault that person or business could face a big bill.

"My helicopter costs a $1,000 an hour," says Yunas. 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments