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Downed Power Line Triggers Fire Along Seminole Woods Blvd., But Blaze Is Controlled

| February 10, 2014

Thick smoke wating across both directions of Seminole Woods Boulevard prompted a closure of the road for half a mile south to Utah Place. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Thick smoke wating across both directions of Seminole Woods Boulevard prompted a closure of the road for half a mile south to Utah Place. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Including the words “fire” and “Seminole Woods” in the same sentence is usually a primer for bad news: Seminole Woods is notorious for big, angry wildfires, and Palm Coast residents driving in the area at noon today likely worried that another one was cooking as a thick column of white and dirt-gray smoke rose over the area just south of the State Road 100 intersection with Seminole Woods Boulevard.

But it looked worse than it was, even though that stretch of Seminole Woods, down to Utah Place, was closed to traffic.

A Palm Coast crew was working on the east side of the boulevard, clearing brush in the first step of construction of a walking and bicycling path that will parallel Seminole Woods when, according to Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito, a track hoe struck an east-west power line, severing it from utility poles. The line fell to the brush and ignited it.

A fire crew from the county’s fire station at the nearby county airport was almost immediately on the scene, and the fire itself was just 70 foot by 70 foot, nowhere near residential properties. It burned near and under the right of way of taller power lines. Nevertheless it was within a few hundred feet of Flagler Beach’s water plant. The fire was allowed to burn until the power was shut off, to avoid dropping water on a live, downed power line. Then the Division of Forestry had the fire extended north along Seminole Woods Boulevard in a controlled burn, to avoid problems later.


“Forestry came in and they got their tractor in and decided to go ahead and burn the rest of this little track out,” Petito said. “It doesn’t go back that deep.”

“This is very controlled,” Petito said, “but I’m sure people see the smoke and they worry. But this is a very controlled fire we have here.”

FPL is not reporting power outages in the area, since the downed line was a neutral line.

James Gilbert, a retired fireman and area resident, said closing all four lanes of Seminole Woods made no sense because the matter was “nowhere close to being a hazard.” He called the Palm Coast city manager’s office, which referred him to the fire department. He said two of the four lanes on Seminole Woods could have been opened to traffic without endangering motorists.

But the fire, while contained to the east side of the road, repeatedly sent thick plumes of smoke across all four lanes of Seminole Woods, at times reducing visibility to near zero.

The fire was expected to continue burning into the afternoon, with firefighters then dousing the stretch in water. Flagler County’s Engine 92, Woods 92, Rescue 41 and Palm Coast’s Woods 25 responded to the scene.

The fire along Seminole Woods Blvd. started as a 70 by 70 blaze but was then intentionally broadened  to an acre to prevent fire issues later. (© FlaglerLive)

The fire along Seminole Woods Blvd. started as a 70 by 70 blaze but was then intentionally broadened to an acre to prevent fire issues later. (© FlaglerLive)


The fire was originally contained to this 70-by-70 area just east of Seminole Wooods Boulevard, until the Division of Forestry decided to extend a controlled burn north of it. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The fire was originally contained to this 70-by-70 area just east of Seminole Wooods Boulevard, until the Division of Forestry decided to extend a controlled burn north of it. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The downed power line that started it all. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The downed power line that started it all. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The ominous view from State Road 100 at noon. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The ominous view from State Road 100 at noon. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The fire. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The fire. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


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

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

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8 Responses for “Downed Power Line Triggers Fire Along Seminole Woods Blvd., But Blaze Is Controlled”

  1. Geezer says:

    All you atheists out there, behold the burning bush!

  2. Donna Heiss says:

    LOVE our first responders!

  3. PALM COAST says:

    Neutral power lines that spark and start a fire???????

  4. Enlightened says:

    Why do we have such careless workers? I am glad it wasn’t any worse. Kudos to the firemen!

  5. confidential says:

    Big thanks to our firemen. Now is FPL going to be billed for the costly, tax payers funded services ,provided to put down a fire caused by their inexplicable downed neutral line? Or they will get the freebie as the Flagler County Airport “supposedly self sustaining enterprise” gets after they manipulated to have a county fire station dedicated in their grounds for their service, while charging the county aka us $1,200 rent a month plus utilities to that fire station?

  6. HorseWith Aname says:

    no dont make fpl pay they will raise our bill :)

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