Volunteers help battle large Polk Co. brush fire

Fire forces evacuation at River Ranch Hunting Club
Posted at 6:46 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 18:46:30-05

The River Ranch Hunting Club is a popular getaway for hunters and campers in the Tampa Bay area, but the people there were forced to leave late this week after a wildfire threaten the property.

Billy Green is volunteering his time to clear debris from campsites. He estimates at least a dozen campers have already been destroyed by the fire.

“I feel really sorry for them, I did all I could to help,” said Green.

Hunters were in the process of surveying the damage on Thursday afternoon when they were asked to leave, because the fire was flaring up. Green said he plans to continue clearing debris to prevent future fires from impacting the club.

RELATED: PHOTOS | 800 homes evacuated by Polk brush fire

“Because if and when we see a fire like this one,  their stuff might not be burnt to the ground,” said Green.

County crews said they haven’t completed a damage assessment of damage to the property, but they did say eleven homes near the hunting club were destroyed.

FWC officers are assisting local fire crews in monitoring hot spots around the club.

The River Ranch Hunting Club was still closed Thursday evening.