Large wildfire burning at Air Force Bombing Range in Avon Park

Posted at 3:43 AM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 13:58:31-04

The latest report from officials is that the Echo Springs Fire has burned 6,770+ acres and is 50% contained. There are no threats to structures at this time and no evacuations have been ordered.

State wildland firefighters are working with crews from the Avon Park AIr Force Bombing Range to battle the wildfire burning at bombing range on the Highlands-Polk County lines.

Authorities initially reported approximately 8,000 acres were burning south of Arbuckle Lake and southeast of Lake Wales Ridge State Forest.

Firefighters are setting backfires instead of using firefighting bulldozers to contain the flames due to safety concerns over unexploded ordinances. Crews will get ahead of the main fire and set fire to unburned vegetation. This method allows the two fires to burn together and extinguish themselves as they compete for kindling and oxygen.

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Currently the fire is zero percent contained. As of Thursday morning, flames are not threatening any structures and no evacuations are being issued at this time.

The first reports of the fire came in Tuesday around 5:35 p.m. The cause of the fire will be determined once crews can get it contained.

Signs are posted warning that smoke from the fire may cause visibility issues on U.S. Highway 27 , State Road 64 and in the Avon Park area.