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Rapid Response Beats Back Threat to Seminole Woods Homes; Espanola In New Breakout

| June 15, 2011

The Sloganeer Trail area was under threat by a break-out fire Wednesday afternoon.

Last Updated: 8:54 p.m.

8:54p: for a story and a photo gallery of what turned out to be the miracle on Sligo Mill Court today, please go here.

6:02p: Palm Coast firefighters have just finished mopping up the fire at Slippery Rock Place in Seminole Woods. The firefighters used their new, massive ladder truck to dump volumes of water on the lot in front of a home. The lot of palmettos and pines, which burn like gasoline, was scorched, all the way up to the porch of the house, yet firefighters were able to save the house, and three or four others on a nearby street, in what looked like another miracle. Here’s what the scene looked like moments ago:

Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Saved. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

5:56p: The water drop on the Espanola fire was not necessarily from the Guard helicopters alone, but from a 3,000-gallon air tanker flying in from Lake City, according to the Division of Forestry’s Todd Schroeder. The Black Hawks were used against the Route 40 fire.

5:05p: The Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters that just arrived this morning to help–three of them–will be in the air, dropping water on the periphery of the Espanola fire. You might hear them. They’ll be filling their bambi buckets from a water pond near the Espanola fire.

4:54 p.m. Alert: We have this update from all around the county, in an afternoon turning out to be another serious challenge to the firefighting operation: The Espanola fire at the moment is in the midst of another break-out, making a massive run toward its northeast.

A fire near the intersection of U.S. 40 and State Road 11, in Volusia County, is also leaping, and spreading into Flagler County as well as Volusia.

Every fire and rescue employee in the Flagler County Fire and Rescue Department is on duty at the moment. Five units from St. Johns County Fire Department have arrived at the county’s Emergency Operations Center’s staging area, which is the main staging area for Flagler, and where the Division of Forestry took over management of the fires from the regional incident management team that had been overseeing matters for the past eight days. Units from Jacksonville have also returned here to help.

4:22p: Another minor problem area was spotted in the same area where a break-out happened last week, between Sloganeer and Squash Blossom. A patrol was being sent to those culd-de-sacs that mobilized firemen last week–Squashbush, Squanto Place, Squadron Place, Squaw Court, all off of Squaw Place–to check for spot-overs.

Alert, 3:52p: Flames about 5 feet tall were being reported at 22 Sloganeer Trail, some 20 feet from the house there, on the south side of the loop. The spotting was not seen as a threat nearly as serious as that earlier this afternoon.

2:58p: The south side of the fire (on the north loop of Sloganeer Trail) is under control for now. Fire Flight was reporting that the fire looked under control throughout.

This latest break-out exemplifies the difficult logistical conditions firefighters are battling in addition to the fires: resources are stretched thin through the majority of 22 active fires in the county, and Flagler County sent a strike force to Volusia yesterday to help with a massive fire there. That strike force is on its way back.

2:50p: The fire is still burning well, but away from homes. Evacuations will not take place. Residents will be allowed back to their houses shortly.

2:46p: Fire Flight was reporting that the most dangerous part of the fire was knocked down.

2:35 p.m. alert: The White Eagle fire took a turn for the worse Wednesday afternoon just after 2 p.m. when a wildfire started crowning–one of the most dangerous things a wildfire can do, by running across the tree canopy rapidly–and spotting just south of Seminole Woods Boulevard, in the areas between Sloganeer Trail and Sligo Mill Court, along a dry canal bed.

Homes were in danger. Firefighters were requesting that the water pressures be increased in the area as much as possible.

Volunteer firefighters from stations 31, 71 and 81 were summoned to the county’s Emergency Operations Center as firefighters from several agencies were being mobilized to battle the break-out fire.

Firefighters were summoning structure fire-fighting engines to protect homes on Sloganeer. The Division of Forestry was sending in bulldozers. The fire jumped the canal bed in the area, which is very dry, on its way to threatening homes as it ran toward Sloganeer Trail.

[This is a developing story.]

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8 Responses for “Rapid Response Beats Back Threat to Seminole Woods Homes; Espanola In New Breakout”

  1. Cyd Weeks says:

    This is just scary as heck. I can’t thank those fighting these fires enough. If mother nature would just co-operate and give us one hell of a rain these guys/gals could get some much needed rest. Come on RAIN!

  2. KimH says:

    Please pray for all our Firefighters and Emergency crews that they get a handle on these fires safely. My husband and his fellow firefighters are working hard to keep our county safe. Thanks to all the other crews that came in to help as well. This is a very scary situation… Pray for rain!

  3. mara says:

    I don’t understand this crazy weather! We went over to Orlando yesterday, and ran through rain showers everywhere! Headed back to Daytona, we went through a good soaker around Orange City (not sure how long it lasted there, but when we were going through it you couldn’t even see to drive!)

    Once we hit I-95, no rain. None at all over here, all day, except I think over on the beachside past Ormond-by-the-Sea. It was like being in two different worlds–green(er) and bright(er) over there, all brown and drab and smoky here :-(

  4. Kendall says:

    God bless the firefighters!

  5. DC says:

    Thanks to the Wonderful Job of the Firefighters, Looking at the Pics, Thats too close to call. I Praise ur work.

  6. Nancy N. says:

    Wondering exactly how much of the county has to burn before Gov. Scott thinks he’s done enough “monitoring”…

  7. Jennie Keppler says:

    Please pray for the safety of all the firefighters and emergency workers out there working hard day and night for 36hrs at a time to keep us safe. My husband is out ther with many others working as hard as they can to keep these fires contained and everyone safe. Pray for lots of rain with no lightening and that our POS Gov. wakes the heck up and starts doing his job!!! Like the men and women are continuing to do even though he raise their health insurence costs and cut their pensions. Thank you to the many people of the commuinty who have and continue to donate supplies to the firefighters. They need our support.

  8. kim says:

    Thanks to all the fire fighters and all that helped save our neighbors homes and mine. We were the miracle on Sligo Mill Court .If they had not got there when they did all our homes would have been gone. We had enough time to get the pets and leave with nothing but the clothes on our back. Then we had to just leave and stay at the end of the road, and watch and pray. The flames where at the tops of the trees and they where just spreading fast , the fire fighters where doing there best on the ground, then the helicoptor came and dropped water and that helped. We just need rain, rain , rain. Thanks again to the fire fighters and all that are involved, they saved our homes…..You are all in our prayers that this will end soon so you can be home with your families. Be safe and God Bless.

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