Fire Burns Acres in Rural Lithia

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews responded to a brush fire encompassing an area between 45-75 acres Wednesday afternoon, near the Chito Branch Reserve in Lithia.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews responded to a major brush fire on Tuesday, May 8, covering 45-75 acres near the Chito Branch Reserve, in Lithia, causing some concern for residents living off  Browning Rd., less than a mile south of Lithia Pinecrest Rd.

According to 1st Battalion Fire Chief Michael Stokes, multiple units of brush trucks and several plow trucks along with members of the Florida Forrest Services were dispatched to the scene following the call of a brush fire that came in at around 1:30p.m., which spread quickly due to the breeze.

“The cause of the fire is unknown,” Stokes said while on the scene, but added that there was no scheduled or prescribed burn conducted in the area at the time of the fire.

After about an hour of battling the flames, Stokes said the fire was mostly contained, but that fire crews will be working in the area for the rest of the day as hot spots flare up.

While battling a similar brush fire a few months ago, also in Lithia, prompted Patrick Keogh with the Florida Forest Services, to emphasize that the chances of a brush fire this time of year underscores the importance for residents to be on alert.

“With conditions ripe, it takes very little for brush fires to start,” Keogh said. “From now until June it is good for area residents to be vigilant. Any wildfire that starts during these weather conditions could spread quickly and get out of control.”

Further update will be posted as it becomes available.

For more information on brush fires please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/firerescue/divisions/suppression.cfm