Firefighters battling 650-acre wildfire outside Jacksonville

The Florida Forest Service (FFS) continue to battle a 650-acre wildfire outside Jacksonville.

Authorities are asking motorists and residents to exercise caution in the area.

According to the Florida Forest Service, two separate wildfire broke out Wednesday off U.S. 17 and Yellow Bluff Road near Jacksonville. Helicopters, 13 firefighting bulldozer crews, and 29 wildland firefighters were deployed to battle the blazes.

At this time, the Florida Highway Patrol has reopened I-95 in both directions. However, some lanes are currently closed due to emergency vehicles and personnel, and motorists are strongly encouraged to slow down and maintain awareness, as smoke remains in the area.

As of 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, FFS reported that the fire is estimated at 650 acres and is 55 percent contained. No structures are threatened at this time.

“These wildfires can build quickly and can be extremely dangerous, so residents in affected areas should continue to follow directions from state and local officials,” said Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried, whose Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services includes the Florida Forest Service. “While the Florida Highway Patrol has reopened I-95, all travelers should closely monitor the media for updates on safety and I-95’s status throughout Memorial Day weekend. We thank our brave Forest Service firefighters for working swiftly to control these wildfires.”