MOUNT DORA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - For the second day in a row, State Route 44 was closed for hours in Lake County by smoke during the morning rush.
Hundreds of commuters delayed or sent scrambling for alternate routes. Buses serving six schools canceled as well. Forestry officials warn these disruptions could plague local residents for days.
“I had to drive through the fire so the car was filthy,” said Dora Sanchez.
For workers at the Super Wash Express car wash, though, business is booming.
“Pollen's better,” said Dan Spaulding. “We don't like to see anything on fire, but it definitely helps out.”
Jason Castelli is a fire lieutenant. He says conditions near a fire can do some real damage.
“It can get inside the vehicle if your windows are open,” Castelli explained, “it can deteriorate the paint on the exterior of the car, if you don't get it off right away.”
Drivers say relief can't come soon enough.
“I'm hoping the fire goes away,” Sanchez said, “so pray for rain!”
Forestry officials say dry ground, low humidity, and unpredictable winds will likely keep the county at risk.