Yellow Bluff Fire: Smoke, flareups expected through Memorial Day weekend

Fire crews ask for more help

The Florida Forest Service is warning families of expected smoke and flareups from the Yellow Bluff Fire through Memorial Day weekend.

Firefighters said Friday that the weather is in their favor, and the fire is looking a lot better than they expected.

It grew from 450 to 600 acres overnight into Friday. Terrell Drew, with the Florida Forest Service, said much of the increased acreage was in hard-to-reach marshland.

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At one point, the flames jumped across Interstate 95.

“It got real smokey and at that point, we couldn’t really see if it jumped or not but once it cleared out we did notice flames on the other side of the highway,” Drew said.

With a helicopter dumping water from above, firefighters were able to contain it.

The Forest Service has deployed 13 bulldozing crews, 29 wildland firefighters and a helicopter. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said 12 of its crew members are helping fight the flames.

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The Forest Service said it expects more flareups and smoke during the next few days.

The St. Johns River Water Management District is sending a special piece of equipment, a marsh master, to the fire Saturday to help firefighters access the flames from the marsh.

The Forest Service is urging drivers to be cautious on I-95 between State Road 200 and Pecan Park Road.