Crews battling large brush fire in Odessa, Starkey Wilderness Park shut down

01 May 2017

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USA -  Firefighters are still battling a monstrous wildfire off State Road 54 near Gunn Highway in Odessa, said Pasco County officials. The Florida Forest Service reported the fire at 1 1/2 acres Sunday morning.

Shawn Whited, Pasco County Fire Rescue division chief of training, said the blaze is spreading fast aided by strong wind in the area. He said no structures are threatened, but there are homes to the northwest of the fire. And, about a week ago, officials were calling four fires in the area around SR 54 near Old County 54 and Mitchell Ranch Road suspicious after seeing teens running from the area.

Westbound traffic on State Road 54 has been cut to one lane. Both eastbound lanes remain open. In the meantime, Pasco County is the midst of evacuating and shutting down Starkey Wilderness Park on Wilderness Park Blvd.

Temporary flight restrictions are in place around the area, where the fire is burning.

The Orlando Sentinel reports ( Orange County Fire Rescue took its first step toward using unmanned aircraft in its work. Pasco in particular has seen several blazes this month.