Wildfire evacuation order lifted for homeowners living in Indian Lake Estates in Polk County

Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 21, 2017

The search is on to find exactly what started an 800-acre fire in Polk County and now investigators believe it was intentionally set.

The fire is now 75% contained but at its height, it forced an evacuation order of more than 800 homes in the Indian Lake Estates subdivision in Polk County. 

On Sunday, approximately two dozens firefighters remain on scene to keep the fire contained. Good weather conditions on Monday are helping to extinguish the fire.

The fire destroyed a shed, several cars and boats.

More than 100 firefighters from across Tampa Bay worked to keep the flames away from homes and evacuees were let back into the subdivision on Saturday evening.  

Investigators believe the fire started Friday evening around 4:30 p.m, which spread to multiple fires.

It is unknown at this hour exactly how many acres burned but now investigators will work to find out how the fire started. The investigation could last several weeks. If you have any information that could help with the investigation, please call Polk County Fire. (863) 519-7350


o              It is important for individuals with damaged homes or property to begin with documenting all damaged property and belongings. A free smartphone app developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners called "MyHome" is available to assist with photo documentation.

o              For help finding your Florida's property insurance company's website and contact information, click HERE. For a list of licensed insurance agents in Florida, click HERE. Additional consumer resources are available HERE.

o              To contact the Office of Insurance Regulation with reports of fraud or suspicious activity, call the Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.





During a news conference Friday evening, officials from Polk County Fire Rescue said several structures have been destroyed, but could not confirm an exact number.




Fire units from all over Polk County are working to get the fires under control.

Red Cross Shelter:
First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales
309 East Central Avenue

While investigators say it is too early to determine a cause, but they are asking for the public’s help if they know how it started. Anyone with information is urged to call 1-800-342-5869. A $5,000 reward is already being offered.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for all of Polk County. 

This means that critical fire weather conditions are expected to occur due to long durations of low humidity and lack of rain.

PHOTO GALLERY: Crews battle large brush fire at Indian Lake Estates

At least 5,500 acres burned in a brush fire near that area earlier this year.

VIDEO: Action Air One flies over the neighborhood: