A fast-spreading brush fire in St. Petersburg, Florida forced authorities to close Interstate 275 in both directions, plus local roads leading to the Interstate. The smoke from the fire was thick enough to show up on radar.
WFTS-TV reports that police went door-to-door in the nearby Village Green Mobile Home Park urging residents to evacuate ahead of the fire. St. Petersburg Fire Rescue called it a mandatory evacuation. At least one resident first sprayed water on her home, to protect it from stray sparks.
Florida Highway Patrol personnel urged drivers to expect delays and seek out alternate routes.
WTSP-TV out of Tampa Bay reports that at least one firefighter suffered heat exhaustion requiring medical assistance. Fire officials told WFTS-TV that the lack of hydrants in the area of the brush fire itself is hampering their efforts to fight the fire; they have to rely on water trucks to bring in water to fight the blaze.