Crews battle Treasure Coast brush fires

Posted at 11:25 AM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 17:48:52-05

Crews with the Florida Forest Service are monitoring three separate wildfires that happened within the last three days on the Treasure Coast.

Click here for an interactive map of current fires in Florida.

One happened at the Oxbow Eco-Center in Port St. Lucie but was less than an acre in size.

The other was in Martin County, near Indiantown, and spread to at least 300 acres according to the FFS.

A third wildfire started Monday night in Ft. Pierce near U.S. 1 and Midway Road.

The fire spread across five acres, according to Melissa Yunas, wildfire mitigation specialist for the Florida Forest Service.

"Two weeks without rainfall? You start running wildfires," Melissa said.

None of the fires are threatening homes or businesses, she added.

But the fire in Fort Pierce came close to Tri County Feed and Hardware where Caleb Melton works.

When the fire reignited Tuesday morning, he said the firefighters showed up in just minutes.

"I couldn't say it was more than a minute to be honest with you, before the first one arrived. Boss called, I turned around, and here comes one rolling in. So it's a pretty good job," Caleb said.

George Quinn lives on the other side of the woods where the fire started.

"I get goose pimples right now just telling you about it," he said.

Just a few years ago, George had to rebuild his home after it caught fire due to an electrical problem.

"We don't have fire in the house. We don't have incense in the house or anything. If we do that, it's in the bathtub or shower, we put it on the floor," he said.

Like others nearby, George is looking forward to hearing the fire is controlled.

Melissa with the FFS said there's a big difference between a fire that is contained and one that is controlled.

"Contained means the spread of the fire has stopped. That means we have a line around it with our bulldozers. Dirt doesn't burn. Controlled means it's dead out. No chance it's going to rekindle," she said.

Melissa added that it's crucial people who live near wooded areas get their homes ready for potential wildfires.

"If you have your home and it's near nature, you want to create a defensible space. You want to have an area that is 30 feet away from the woods. Green grass doesn't burn. So if you have green grass and it's well watered and well maintained that could serve as a fire break," she said.

She added that residents need to trim their trees, to keep any pine needles or leaves from adding up on top of your home.

Those can easily spark a fire, she said, if a wildfire comes close to your home.