Muck fire burning underground in St Cloud

A muck fire is sending smoke above ground, filling the air in this residential part of St. Cloud.

"It's just decaying vegetation that's piling up over years and years and years and sometimes it could be a couple feet deep, so the fire actually burns underground," says St. Cloud Deputy Chief, Jason Miller.

Officials shut down Budinger Avenue from Progress Lane to the south entrance of St. Cloud Elementary, as school let out on Friday afternoon.

"I couldn't imagine. I wouldn't want my child walking in that smoke. That's horrible. It's dangerous," says parent Linda Puleio.

Fire officials tell us muck fires have lasted up to six weeks in St. Cloud, so they're using multiple pumps to pump 800 gallons of water per minute, hoping to have this fire contained by Monday. Parent Rob Puleio says he'll be careful about spending time outdoors until the smoke clears.

"It's still pretty heavily populated. It's pretty dense. We'll probably make it a habit to stay indoors just until this passes through."

For the year-to-date, there have been 2,142 fires in Florida, consuming 108,614 acres. There are currently 99 active fires in the state, consuming 36,843 acres.