Forestry and fire crews worked to contain a prairie fire that burned 86 acres near the Clay-Putnam county line on Sunday.
The fire is in the Goodson Prairie area, north of State Road 100 and west of County Road 315C, which encompasses 100 acres of swamp-like land with thick grasses, said Ludie Bond, with the Florida Forest Service.
Nearby residents say a neighbor admitted to starting the blaze.
“Someone was mowing and caught the prairie on fire and tried to contain it. It just all of a sudden took off,” Kelly Taylor said.
Taylor and her family prepared for the worst as they watched the burn encroach on homes.
“We spent about an hour trying to get everything together and just panicked, just freaking out because it was so close to our back property. We were afraid it was going to jump over and hit our land,” Jessica Taylor said.
Crews extinguished the flames and no evacuations were necessary.
Fire officials say there were some close calls.
“Probably within 50 feet of the houses, other structures, out buildings. We did have one building that is somewhat destroyed,” said James Rittenhouse with the Florida Forest Service.
According to Florida Forest Service, the danger for fire is extremely high.
Clay County officials said conditions have not been this bad since 1998. They’re asking residents to be aware and not put themselves at risk.
Neighbors are hoping this is the last fire this season.
"It’s scary. You could lose everything. It’s not just your home, it’s your memories, it’s your dogs, it’s your life, it’s your livelihood that could go up in flames,” said Kelly Taylor.
As of Sunday at 5 p.m., the fire was 90% contained.
Crews will be out monitoring the area through Sunday night and into Monday.
Cox Media Group