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Crews putting out hot spots from Port St. Lucie brush fire

Fire near Spanish Lakes community is 94 acres, 75% contained
The aftermath of a brush fire near the Spanish Lakes community in Port St. Lucie on May 10, 2021.jpg
Posted at 12:26 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 14:48:13-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Fire crews on Monday are continuing to put out hot spots after a lightning strike sparked a brush fire in Port. St. Lucie over the weekend.

The Florida Forest Service said the fire on Dyer Road near the Spanish Lakes community is 94 acres and 75% contained.

Dozens of residents who live east of Silver Oak Drive were asked to evacuate on Sunday, and residents of Spanish Lakes were forced to shelter in place.

The fire engulfed three homes and two vehicles, but no one was hurt.

Several homes are still without power on Monday.

"There’s some scarring on this tree. This is where the lightning struck. This is the origin of the fire," said Miguel Nevarez with the Florida Forest Service.

Nevarez said a lightning strike on Friday created a chaotic Sunday for residents of the St. Lucie Gardens and Spanish Lakes communities.

"I looked out here and I'm like, we’re in trouble," said resident Chris Andrews.

Andrews grabbed her pets and her husband's remains and evacuated for several hours. She spent Monday spraying water on her back deck.

"Running hose on roof all night because it’s shingle and that stuff will sit and it will eventually melt through and there goes your roof," Andrews said.

More than two dozen fire suppression units have spent the past two days monitoring the scene.

"The areas they want to burn off naturally, we’re letting that happen. But where we’re getting a little too close to the line or spots over, we’re putting those out," said Chief Nate Spera with the St. Lucie County Fire District.

The Florida Forest Service said the fire is a reminder that as lightning becomes more common as we approach the summer months, homeowners should maintain some defensible space and a buffer between their home and any nearby wild land.

"The fact that fire hasn’t been out here in decades so fuel loading is insane, so there are all kinds of fuels that are receptive to burn," said David Grubich with the Florida Forest Service.

Another concern for homeowners in St. Lucie Gardens is that there are no hydrants in their community and some dirt roads with just one way in and out, so they’re hoping the winds stay in their favor.