Homes destroyed, properties damaged after 4,000+ acre brush fire

Posted at 3:37 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 09:38:01-05

Polk county firefighters are hard at work Friday morning; knocking down a major brush fire that re-kindled on Thursday.

People living in the River Ranch Hunting Club community were forced out of their homes and a dense smoke advisory was in effect Friday morning as smoke blanketed the southeastern portion of Polk County.

The fire was rekindled on Thursday evening including one just north of SR 60 and two fires rekindled south of SR 60.

"Thankfully we've got all the help that the state can give us," said Indian Lake resident Mike Allen.

Allen told ABC Action News he is trying to remain positive. Allen is one of many living in the Polk County communities of Indian Lake Estates and River Ranch forced from their homes this week.

"It's not good. You know people that are involved. We know some people that managed to save their house, but it's a scary thing," said Allen.

So far, more than 4,000 acres have been destroyed. Those who live in River Ranch were told by firefighters that they won't be allowed back in until at least Monday.

The brush fire also caused issues during Friday morning's commute.

Parts of state road 60 and county road 630 completely were completely shut down on Friday morning due to low visibility.

For Allen, his thoughts are with those directly in harms way.

"You really don't want to see your neighbors lose anything for sure you don't want to see anybody hurt," said Allen.

Polk county firefighters will continue to monitor the fire throughout the next few days to survey the area. 

More than a dozen personnel from Polk County Fire Rescue and the Florida Forest Service are working around the clock responding to hotspots and potential flare-ups. 


Nine mobile homes and two single family homes were destroyed in the nearly 3,000 acres brush fire that swept through the Indian Lake Estates Wednesday, according the preliminary reports from assessment crews.

Crews from Polk County Emergency Management and the American Red Cross are currently conducting assessments of the areas around County Road 630, State Road 60 and within the Indian Lake Estates Community.

Polk County Fire Rescue and Florida Forest Service have crews on standby should the fire intensify or break out of its boundaries.

There was property damage along CR 630 and SR 60.

RELATED: PHOTOS | 800 homes evacuated by Polk brush fire

The Florida Forest Service remains on scene and is focusing around SR 60 and CR 630. They are also providing aerial support. There are emergency vehicles and smoky conditions in the area, so motorists are asked to drive carefully.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is assisting by scouting the River Ranch Hunt Club.