NewsPolk County


Firefighters battle 85-acre wildfire in Lake Wales near S.R. 60

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 10:16:05-04

LAKE WALES, Fla. — Polk County fire crews battled an 85-acre wildfire in Lake Wales.

Crews were dispatched to the brush fire off S.R. 60 and Tiger Lake Road shortly after 1:30 p.m., according to officials.

"Everything is dry right now. We had some low humidity today and increased winds," said Todd Chlanda, Public Information Officer with Florida Forest Service.

The fire destroyed two sheds and a couple of parked boats.

Firefighters kept the flames from reaching homes in the area.

Travis Waters lives off Tiger Lake Road. He came home and saw smoke in his backyard.

"I just saw a big old fire. I didn't know how to act. I had a couple of people come over to get some of my belongings. Luckily, they saved some stuff, but stuff got burned up," said Waters.

Waters lost a shed with tools. He also lost a generator, lawn mower, ATV and his grandfather's truck.

"It's really bad. Smoky, terrible, can hardly breathe outside," said Waters.

Fire officials said a burn ban is in effect for Polk County. Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

"The dry season usually runs up until June.. .that is typically when we start receiving rain. This year has been a little different. We received some rain in some spots, but we have not received enough precipitation to make a big difference in dry conditions," said Chlanda.

Crews also responded to two other bush fires on Thursday night in the River Ranch area.

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