FORT DRUM -- A 30-acre brush fire in the Fort Drum area was 50% contained as of 10:54 a.m. this morning (April 12) according to Florida Forest Service.
According to information released by Okeechobee County Fire Rescue, they received a call from dispatch at approximately 6:45 p.m. on April 11 regarding a brush fire in the 400 block of Northeast 366th Trail. While en route, they were notified callers claimed a structure was on fire. when OCFR arrived on the scene, they found multiple fires in the area. On the corner of U.S. 441 North and Northwest 364th Road, they found a brush fire burning within 10 feet of a structure. They were able to push back that fire but were notified by civilians that there were more fires close to structures. On Northeast 366th Trail, they found three ignition spots on the south side of the road. Once those fires were under control, a civilian led them to another fire in the middle of some brush at the corner of Northeast 366th Trail and Northeast Ninth Drive. Another fire was found on the corner of Northeast 365th Lane and Northeast Ninth Drive, off the road on a trail.
The Florida Forest Service was on the scene as well and the agencies worked together to get the fires under control, extinguishing one hot spot after another. Multiple fire trucks and tractor plows were utilized to help fight the fires.
OCFR turned the scene over to DOF just after 11 p.m.
Homeowners in the area believe the fires were deliberately set, but this has not been officially confirmed and the fires are considered under investigation and the report notes they are suspicious due to the multiple points of origin.
Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office reported their agency has not made any arrests, and the case is being directed by the Division of Forestry.
One property owner in the area said she nearly lost her farm last night. "It was terrible. There are at least five Forestry trucks and four ATVs out here looking for hot spots," she explained at noon on Wednesday.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.