Firefighters: Lawn maintenance truck sparked wildfire in Martin County

A lawn maintenance truck is being looked at as a possible cause to one of several fires in Martin County. This, as firefighters monitor hot spots along the fire lines in three counties Thursday afternoon.

The hot spots could flare up due to winds in the area and become a bigger problem for firefighters.

The Florida Forest Service tackled seven wildfires in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties on Wednesday.

The flames burned through more than 130 acres of land and threatened homes along SE Avalon Drive near Stuart and forced the cancellation of Wednesday night classes at Indian River State College South Campus.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Forest Service says investigators are looking at off-road vehicles as a possible cause to the fire near the college. The 23-acre fire threatened 14 structures and caused slight damage to a fence.

Investigators also say a truck found smoldering in the middle of the fire along Pratt Whitney Road may have started it. The worker told Martin County Fire Rescue the truck got stuck and sparked a grass fire that spread.

Melissa Yunas says lightning and prescribed burns have been ruled out as causes.

Yunas says rain could be a huge help right now.

"We've had fires like this smolder for about a month at a time. So we need rain fully to help extinguish this. There's just not enough water in our fire hydrants and our tankers to put out all the hot spots."


In Okeechobee County, firefighters contained a 60 acre blaze in the Platts Bluff area Thursday morning.

It began Wednesday night. State and County firefighters say it started by lightning.


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