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Large Polk County brush fire reignites, residents on edge

Tree tops are falling into hot spots
Posted at 5:13 AM, Mar 06, 2017

People living in Indian Lake Estates are on high alert once again after getting word Monday morning that a brush fire that burned nearly 6-thousand acres and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents is reigniting.

Firefighters say portions of tree tops that were not burned in the last fire are falling into hot spots. That is heating the fire up once again.

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Monday morning, firefighters went around the area, trying to monitor any problems.

At this point, residents here are being told they can stay in their homes, but that can change at a moments notice.

ABC Action News was told by fire investigators that the pieces of treetops are falling on pine needles, catching them on fire. Most of the fire is contained at this point.

Polk County Fire Rescue and the Florida Forest Service are keeping a close eye on it and are putting out hotspots before it spreads.

Residents are also urged to sign up for alerts through the county to stay up to date. Visit www.polk-county.net and click on Alert Polk to sign up.

Firefighters also report that the weather has not been helping the issues. Breezy conditions have helped to spread the fire.

“This wind was the same way it was the day of the fire, it was wicked yesterday and its still bad,” said  Pat Jones who has nothing but rubble left of her home from the initial fire.

So far firefighters have been able to put the latest fires out before they spread or cause any more damage.

But residents are really worried about the unknown.

“It could blow this way again, or it could start a whole new fire taking out trees that haven’t burnt,” said Richard Haas.

Haas saw his home burn to the ground. The only things that made it, his cat and his car.

“We will always be on edge now. They say it’s all burned out, it’s not going to go anywhere. Trust me I’m a little skeptical about that,” said Jones.

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