Fire scorches 12 acres on Southside, closes road, threatens homes

Forestry officials say fire is 80 percent contained

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A fire broke out in woods on the city's Southside on Saturday, forcing road closures and threatening homes, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. 

The fire ignited in woods adjacent to a property at the end of Chesterton Road near Anniston Road. Officials have closed all lanes of Anniston Road between Atlantic Boulevard and Fraser Road while firefighters work to contain the fire. 

The Florida Forestry Service said the fire has blackened over 12 acres, but had not spread into adjoining residential areas.  Forestry official said the fire is 80 percent contained. 

Arthur Bereznyak, lives on Anniston Road, only a few properties south of Chesterton Road, told News4Jax that he could see smoke billowing from Interstate 295 near the St. Johns Town Center on his way home from Orange Park.

Bereznyak said he was startled when firefighters had to access his property to help contain the fire. 

WATCH: Uncut JFRD briefing on Southside woods fire
PHOTOS: 12-acre woods fire on Southside

Neighbors told News4Jax that while they were standing outside watching first responders, a second fire started directly in front of them that sparked from the woods fire's embers. Firefighters were quickly able to contain the small fire. 

A total of eight engines, five tankers, three brush trucks, three fire chiefs and a rescue chief are at the scene. Forestry has also sent a helicopter to dump water on the flames.

Fire officials said no evacuations have been necessary. 

Authorities said they don't know what started the fire. 

JFRD said that due to conditions, forestry is not authorizing any burning permits in Duval County at this time. Residential outdoor burning is never allowed in the county.

About the Authors: