Lawnmower hitting rock possible cause of massive brush fire in Southwest Florida

Posted at 11:04 AM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 13:46:21-04

Authorities with the North Collier Fire Rescue District said Monday they believe they know what sparked a massive brush fire in Southwest Florida late last week that destroyed nine structures.

RELATED: Brush fire threat continues despite Sunday rain

The district announced on Facebook Monday that a lawnmower hit a rock, causing a spark that started the fire at the Golden Gate Estates.  

However, they have since removed that information from the message.

The Florida Forest Service is the lead agency in the case and has not yet officially determined a cause for the fire.

That fire has since burned over 7,000 acres and is currently 50 percent contained.

Firefighters worked to strengthen containment lines overnight on the fire and saw great success as recent rains and weather helped turn the tide in the favor of suppression efforts.

Tractor-plow units and brush trucks bolstered the western half of the fire perimeter Sunday and will turn their attention to mopping up hot spots and improving line along the fire’s eastern front as winds are expected to change direction and increase Monday.

All evacuations orders have been lifted.

There is a 5-mile temporary flight restriction, including drones, surrounding the 30th Avenue Fire.  It is a third- degree felony to fly a drone in any area that has firefighting air support on scene.