JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - At last check, the Yellow Bluff fire has burned a little over 650 acres and is 55% contained.
Crews have spent the last few days battling the flames, but there’s still plenty of work left to do to contain the fire and prevent any flare ups.
Jeremy Olson works with the St. Johns River Water Management District.
On Saturday he was called in by the Florida Forest Service because of his access to a very specialized piece of equipment, the Marsh Master.
“The Florida Forest Service works closely with us and so they knew we had this machine and they were giving us a heads up starting today this would be a good day to move this onto the fire,” Olson said.
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St. Johns River Water Management District tells Action News Jax that this machine is a mix between a pontoon boat and a bulldozer. It is able to go into these marshy areas where bull dozers can’t go.
“It can go on mud and into vegetation that regular fire control equipment would get stuck in,” Olson said.
The Marsh Master has the ability to put out fires too. Using the machine’s tracks and it’s sharp roller chopper, it’s able to push down these thick shrubs.
“It’s wet underneath the vegetation and so once we mash it down it’ll kind of make a fire control line that way,” Olson said.
The Marsh Master is establishing those fire lines along the northern marsh areas where the Florida Forest Service couldn’t get to earlier in the week.
Once Olson finishes with an area, fire crews come in and spray the smoldering pieces of wood with water preventing any flare ups from happening.
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