Wildfires Spark in North Central Florida

A wildfire caused by lightning spreads through the south side of the Goethe State Forest in Florida..
A wildfire caused by lightning spreads through the south side of the Goethe State Forest in Florida..

Multiple wildfires broke out in separate locations throughout North Central Florida over this past weekend according to the Florida Forest Service.

According to posts on their Facebook page, the Florida Forest Service responded to a total of five wildfires over this past weekend.

Forestry crews first responded to the “South Gasline Fire”, a 30-acre wildfire Saturday afternoon located in the south end of the Goethe State Forest in Levy County.


The South Gasline Fire was caused by lightning and smoke from the fire impacted traffic on Highway 19 from Lebanon Station to Inglis.

Forestry dozers quickly worked on creating a fireline to contain the fire and by Sunday the wildfire was 75% contained.

On the same day, another lightning fire, dubbed the Cowpen Fire, broke out in the town of Bell, located approximately three miles east of US Highway 129 in Gilchrist County.

The Cowpen Fire consumed approximately 70 acres and was 40% contained by Sunday.

On Sunday, the third lightning-caused wildfire later named the Barge Canal Fire, spread over 80 acres in Marion County in an area near State Road 200 and County Road 484.

Forestry crews and Marion County Fire Rescue worked together to contain 75% of the fire by Monday morning utilizing helicopter bucket drops.

All hiking and biking trails on Greenways and Trails were closed and currently remain closed as a result of the Barge Canal Fire.

A fourth fire caused by lightning broke out and consumed 2 acres in Alachua County off of NE 39th Avenue in Gainesville.

The fire was quickly contained and no structures or buildings were damaged.

Another fire broke out late Sunday night in Marion County at the Rodman Bombing Range in the Ocala National Forest.

The latest fire is approximately 70 acres in size.

Drivers near the Oklawaha Bridge, State Road 19, and County Road 310 are asked to use caution when driving through the area due to the smoke.

The cause for this fire has not yet been released.

Crews are currently working to contain the fire.



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