Wildfire in Polk County, Florida destroys 12 homes

The fire has burned approximately 5,000 acres.

Polk County Florida Fire

At least 12 homes have been destroyed in a wildfire in central Florida between Tampa and Vero Beach. Since it started near Indian Lake Estates the morning of February 15 it has burned about 5,000 acres and required the evacuation of the community for approximately 12 hours on Wednesday.

For a while on Thursday firefighters had the spread almost stopped, but strong winds caused the fire activity to pick up again near the River Ranch Hunt Club which had to be evacuated. On Friday Polk County Fire Rescue reported that approximately 100 campsite structures were destroyed at the club, where the fire is still active as of Friday afternoon.

map Polk County Florida Fire
Map showing the perimeter of the CR 630 E Fire, February 17, 2017.

At times early Friday morning State Road 60 had to be closed between CR 630 and Yeehaw Junction due to visibility being compromised by smoke.

All of these photos and the map were provided by Polk County Fire Rescue.

Polk County Florida Fire

Polk County Florida Fire

Polk County Florida Fire

map Polk County Florida Fire
Map showing the perimeter of the CR 630 E Fire, February 17, 2017.

 

fire tower Polk County Florida burning
Kevin Watler, an official with Polk County, confirmed that this Florida Forest Service fire tower burned on Wednesday. The original source of the photo is unknown.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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3 thoughts on “Wildfire in Polk County, Florida destroys 12 homes”

  1. That pic of the Florida fire tower abalze is a keeper! I’d like to incorporate it into my educational collection
    Hope you can verify source so I can get permission use in Power Point.
    Glenn Palmer, NC Cooperatve Extension

  2. This appears to be your 120 foot (approximately) fire look out tower which was a “standard model”commonly scene throughout the U.S. There are still a few in service (sort of) with the F.S. Stanislaus N.F. still operates Duckwall Fire Lookout staffed with volunteers when needed. Question: How does a wildfire ignite a 120 foot tall look out?

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