110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Pat Andrews
posted Apr 15, 2013 - 10:01:58am
U.S. Highway 92 in the vicinity of Indian Lake Road, west of Daytona Beach, reopened about 9:15 a.m. today, Monday April 15, after being closed off and on the past few days due to smoke from a nearby brush fire.
The fire grew larger Sunday, and smoke continued to pour over the highway despite Sunday evening's rains.
Now, there's a little lingering smoke, Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes told The Beacon, but the road is open and visibility is good.
The fire was first reported Thursday, April 11, and flare-ups brought the fire's size to 225 acres. The Highway Patrol closed the road overnight Thursday then closed it again on Sunday afternoon.
The fire's cause is believed to be an authorized burn that flared out of control at a construction site at Mile Marker 128 on Interstate 4; however, that's still under investigation.
Firefighters are still watching hot spots and smoldering spots.
And, lightning strikes from Sunday's storm could spark fires that smolder for a day or two, then flare up. These are called "sleeper" fires, Volusia County Fire Services spokeswoman Pat Kuehn said. The fire danger is not over.
Spring's dry weather brings increased fire dangers. Despite Sunday's inch of rain, the Volusia County drought index is in the 500 range out of an 800 maximum — in the red zone. Smoky conditions can be expected again.
Volusia County firefighters offer these tips for driving in smoky conditions:
• Drive with low beams on. High beams will be reflected back off the smoke and can impair visibility even more.
• Slow down before you enter the smoke and make sure you can stop within the distance you can see.
• Watch out for slow-moving and parked vehicles. Listen for traffic you cannot see.
• Reduce distractions in your vehicle. Turn off your radio and cellphone.
• Use wipers and defrosters to improve visibility.
• Use the right edge of the road as a guide.
• Avoid passing and/or changing lanes.
• Signal your turns well in advance, and brake early as you prepare to stop.
• Roll your windows up, and use your air conditioner on the recirculation mode.
• Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. If you must pull off the road, use your turn signal and carefully pull off as far as possible. After pulling off the road, turn on your hazard flashers.
• Do not drive with your hazard flashers on. According to Florida statute, hazard flashers may only be used on stationary cars.
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