A brush fire burned dangerously close to dozens of homes in Brevard County on Wednesday afternoon and caused the evacuation of a nearby daycare, officials said.
The brush fire, which is an estimated 50 acres and is 75 percent contained as of Wednesday evening, has reported to have ignited in the area of Babcock Street and Waco Boulevard as a result of a van fire on Interstate 95 at around 1:45 p.m., according to Florida Highway Patrol.
Brevard County Fire Rescue said about two dozen homes were in danger as crews fought the brush fire. Country Beginnings daycare on Babcock Street was been evacuated and residents near the fire were asked to evacuate as a precaution, BCFR said. Multiple parks were also closed in the area.
Palm Bay police say I-95 was shut down at Malabar Road but was reopened at around 3 p.m. Several roads were closed down in the area, including Babcock Street and westbound on Valkaria.
WKMG-TV's news helicopter flew over the fire as flames burned next to a home, sending heavy clouds of smoke into the air.
Winds were estimated to be blowing in the area at around 30 mph, making it difficult for firefighters to contain the blaze as it cut through trees and brush.
The windy weather is forecast to remain, with a wind advisory in effect until 7 p.m. Winds will be decreasing to 23 mph late, with winds forecast to be 14-20 mph on Thursday.
Crews will be maintaining a watch on the fire all night, but if anyone sees flames, call 911, officials said.