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Crews battle brush fire near Stuart West community in Palm City

Fire caused by ember from previous brush fire, Martin County Fire Rescue says
Fire near Stuart West endangering homes MAY 2024
Posted at 5:34 PM, May 31, 2024

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Brush that ignited near the Stuart West community in Palm City was caused by an ember from a previous brush fire, Martin County Fire Rescue says.

Crews responded to the roughly 30-acre brush fire Friday afternoon in the 3100 block of Southwest Buena Vista. Martin County Fire Rescue initially reported the fire was about 100 acres. However, that number reflects the total acres in the area recently impacted by fires, Martin County Fire Rescue told WPTV.

Florida Forest Service responded to the blaze with a strike team with seven dozers, which are used to knock down flammable vegetation. There were also requests for a brush truck from St. Lucie County and Stuart fire rescue.

Martin County Sheriff's Office helicopter assisted from above with water drops.

Martin County Fire Rescue spokesman Cory Pippin told WPTV the fire was near homes and crews were actively working to prevent it from spreading. Crews also evacuated several houses Friday evening as a precaution. People have since been allowed to return to their homes.

Residents of the Stuart West and Cobblestone Community told WPTV they were scared for their homes and their animals. The neighborhood is along Martin Highway, directly east of I-95.

"I'm worried about people and their homes and their horses," said one resident. "I know people that were trying to move their horses, to get them away from the flames."

No homes were damaged and no animals or people were injured said Martin County Fire Chief Chad Cianciulli.

While the brush fire is currently contained, crews will continue to monitor the area over the next few days.

“We’ll be here for the next few days. Just making sure that we’re doing a lot of spot fires," said Cianciulli. "And making sure that we do not have any embers that are crossing over.”

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder cautioned homeowners in the area to stay alert.

"So I would say to everyone who lives out here in Stuart West: stay alert," said Snyder. " Your house may not be under any threat right now, but don’t let down.”

Fire Crews recommend clearing any debris within fifty feet of a structure.