Section of I-95 re-opens after brush fire closes interstate

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A large brush fire prompted the closure of a portion of Interstate 95 in Volusia County on Wednesday. 

The over 200-acre fire, near New Smyrna Beach, has produced smoke that is impacting visibility along the roadway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. As a safety precaution, the agency shut down a roughly seven-mile stretch of the interstate, between New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange. 

FHP troopers evaluated road conditions around 8 p.m. and determined that the interstate, from State Road 44 to Dunlawton Avenue, will remain closed throughout the overnight hours.

"This is due to visibility and an active fire in the direct location of I-95, on the shoulder and in the median," said Lt. Kim Montes, FHP spokesperson.

Portions of I-95 remained closed on Thursday morning, thus sending commuters towards U.S. 1 or I-4. The road re-opened shortly after 9 a.m. on that morning. 

State forestry officials say the fire, near the intersection of Pioneer Trail and Sugar Mill Drive, started as a burn pile that got out of control.  Bulldozers were cutting lines to contain the wildfire. Firefighters say the fire was producing 30-foot (9-meter) flames.  Shortly before 10 p.m., it was roughly 90 percent contained. 

The Florida Forest Service is still investigating the cause of the fire. The State Agricultural Minister will visit the fire and given an up date on the overall fire activity in the state, as well as response efforts.