Brush fire burns near I-Drive apartments

- A large, fast-moving brush fire broke out near Daryl Carter Parkway and International Drive in Orlando on Friday afternoon.  

Two nearby buildings at the Sheraton Vistana Resort  were evacuated, and at one point, the fire which grew to nearly 500 acres, had threatened a nearby apartment complex.  

The Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets are about one mile away from the fire and the shops remain open. 

As fire crews dropped water from the air and on the ground, Jonathan Jackson watched the thick black plumes of smoke billow toward his home.

"It's terrifying," he said.  "Now, I'm packing some stuff up, getting ready to leave, if I have to."

"My building is right behind me, and I can see the fire," said Chris Boneta, who lives nearby.

Bulldozers plowed down fire lines as they tried to keep the flames contained.

"I've got eight bulldozers back in the woods. There's a helicopter dropping water. We also have a fixed-wing aircraft as our eye in the sky," explained Sean Gallagher with the Orlando District of the Florida Forest Service.

"It's kind of scary," said Herbert Brooks.  "I thought it was going to spread this way, because before, none of this was burned."

Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Captain Angelo Nieves said the people who were asked to evacuate the hotel were later allowed back into their rooms.  He said no one was hurt and no one in the area was in danger.

Elsewhere, in Osceola County, firefighters worked to contain a 200-acre fire near Holopaw.   The fire broke out along Holopaw Groves Rd. in the mostly rural  Suburban Estates.  As of 8 p.m., that wildfire was under control and being monitored through the evening. 

A Fire Weather Watch had been issued earlier in the day for Lake, Orange, Volusia, Seminole and Osceola counties, which was set to expire at 8 p.m.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 35 news for the latest updates.

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