Kissimmee wildfire: Second fire sparks in Osceola County; melts fences, chars woods

A fire was raging near a neighborhood in Kissimmee, close to Osceola Parkway and Woodland Creek Blvd. Friday evening. Firefighters were working to control the blaze as thick smoke rose above the area, causing concern among residents.

The fire, which started around 5 p.m., prompted evacuations. Residents were anxiously waiting to return to their homes, with many expressing concern about the safety of their properties. It eventually grew to approximately 10 acres and was fully contained by 10 p.m.

Several fire trucks, including those from Kissimmee, Osceola County Fire Rescue, and Orange County Fire Rescue, were actively battling the flames early Friday evening. Despite the severity of the situation, no injuries have been reported.

"We evacuated about 14 residents today," said Kissimmee Deputy Fire Chief Joe Leone during a news briefing. "They are in cooling buses at this time, and we expect they will be allowed to return to their homes soon. The fire is contained, and no residential structures have been affected, although several fences were lost."

RELATED: Kissimmee homeowner recounts close call with wildfire: 'A wall of fire'

The fire was contained by 8 p.m., and no homes were affected, although several fences were lost, officials said.

Firefighters believe Friday's fire may have been a rekindling of a blaze caused by lightning the previous day. The earlier fire was reportedly extinguished by dusk Thursday, but smoldering undergrowth may have reignited the flames.

"There was a lot of undergrowth, so today we brought in the Department of Forestry to come in and clean out all that undergrowth," Deputy Chief Leone said. "It's hot out there, and this was just a stubborn fire."

Esther Jimenez, a homeowner in the neighborhood, shared her harrowing experience during the blaze. Jimenez, who has lived in the area since 2004, described the intensity of the fire. 

"It started a couple of feet out as a very small fire, and as it got closer, it got bigger and bigger until it reached our fence," she said. 

The fire melted the fence, but fortunately, it did not spread to her home. 

Firefighters faced challenging conditions, with intense heat and exhaustion being significant issues.

"The guys worked extremely hard," Leone added.

FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Noah Bergren confirmed that the region is experiencing moderate drought, which is contributing to the fire's spread. Despite heavy rainfall in surrounding areas on Thursday, Kissimmee received less than an inch of rain, leaving the ground dry and susceptible to fires.

Fire crews used water to douse the flames and prevent the fire from reaching residential areas. The Florida Forest Service also deployed equipment to clear out potential fuel sources in the woods.

Firefighters initially tackled the flames from a ladder truck, but the focus shifted as crews moved into the adjacent neighborhood to prevent further spread. Smoke from the fire had significantly decreased just before 7 p.m.

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Orange Blossom Trail was closed between Osceola Parkway to the north and E. Carroll St. to the south as firefighters continued efforts to contain the blaze.

The focus now is on monitoring the area to prevent further flare-ups. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.