BIG PINE KEY, FL – A brush fire that started along Hibiscus Drive on Big Pine Key on Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m. and quickly spread westward across the island toward Fern Avenue was 40 percent contained as of 8 p.m. Sunday evening. There remains scattered hotspots throughout the large area.
Crews will be working through the night and tomorrow to put out the hotspots.
There are no reports of injuries.
At this time, Monroe County Fire Rescue has confirmation of only one home, with a separate garage structure, that was destroyed. Many homes were saved despite the fire spreading rapidly due to strong winds and the dry vegetative conditions caused by the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
There are no evacuation orders at this time, but people who live in this area should monitor the areas around their homes until the fire is completely put out.
Monroe County Fire Rescue asks people to try to avoid driving on U.S. 1 through Big Pine Key due to the smoke and large number of emergency vehicles.
Fire crews from key West to Miami-Dade County, as well as the Florida Forestry Service, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, responded. This included about 60 firefighters and at least 13 fire engines, tankers and other fire-fighting assets. The Wildlife Service used helicopters to drop water by air.
Keys Energy Service shut off power to about 1,900 customers on Big Pine Key at 3:14 pm at the request of Monroe County Fire Rescue. Go to Keys Energy Services Facebook page or website for further power updates.