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I-95 reopens after brush fire scorches 2,500 acres in Brevard County

Interstate was shut down near Rockledge

The view of a brush fire in Central Brevard County. Photo taken by News 6 viewer Karen Weber.
The view of a brush fire in Central Brevard County. Photo taken by News 6 viewer Karen Weber.

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Smoke from a 2,500-acre brush forced authorities to close Interstate 95 in Brevard County multiple times Tuesday,

Troopers shut down a six-mile stretch of the entire interstate from Fiske Boulevard and State Road 520 near Rockledge. All lanes were later reopened.

U.S. 1 was used as an alternate route. Motorists are urged to use caution in the area, officials said.

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"The flames were very visible," said Raymond Whelan, who drove past the fire on I-95. "You could see maybe 50 feet or so off the side of the road."

Firefighters continue to battle the blaze.

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"The focus is going to be on doing what's called a burnout operation," said Sean Gallagher, Florida Forestry Service spokeswoman. "Lighting fire out in the marsh to consume the fuel around the fire and in front of the fire to make sure the fire doesn't go outside the block that it's in. They drop, essentially, napalm. So, it's like flaming jelly, gasoline."

Traffic and fire officials started monitoring the fast-growing marsh fire, sparked by lightning, on Monday.

The fire was first spotted about 3:15 p.m. and is located just off Tucker Road with heavy fuel in the area west of Central Brevard. It is south of S.R. 520 and west of I-95.