March 23, 2017

Large brush fire forces evacuation of 800 homes in Polk

16 February 2017, 09:26 | Winifred Adams

Large brush fire forces evacuation of 800 homes in Polk

Polk brush fire

A brush fire in southern Polk County is threatening a handful of homes, fire officials said.

More than 800 homes at the Indian Lake Estates retirement community in Wales, Florida, were evacuated, News6 reported.

Strong winds made the fire hard to control.

One home has been reportedly damaged, according to PCFR's Facebook account.

Fire crews are using bulldozers and helicopters to help battle the fire, Polk County Fire Rescue said.

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'It's not really normal this year but all the conditions together are flawless for fires'.

Richard Jones told WTSP: 'I'm just thankful I'm still walking. County Road 630 and State Road 60 were also closed.

It is unclear how the fire started.

The Florida Forest Service remains on scene and is focusing around SR 60 and CR 630.

Watler says at least one house was destroyed by the fire. Polk County Emergency Management, Polk County Building Division and the American Red Cross are now carrying out a thorough assessment to determine the actual count of damaged or destroyed properties. Several pets have reportedly died.

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