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Brush fire shuts down interstate, forces hundreds to flee in Florida

Two large brush fires prompted evacuation orders for people in 300 homes near Ormond Beach, Fla. NBC's Lester Holt reports.

A fast-moving brush fire forced the shutdown of Interstate 95 and the evacuation of 300 homes in Ormond Beach in central Florida on Saturday, fire officials said.


By Saturday night, the blaze was 75 percent contained, and evacuation orders were lifted for all but 50 homes, Pat Kuehm of Volusia County Fire Services told NBC News.

The blaze started Saturday morning in Flagler County and the wind pushed the flames into Volusia County and the city limits of Ormond Beach, Kuehm said.


I-95 was reopened but traffic was very slow because of long backups, NBC station WESH of Orlando reported

Smoke from the fire blanketed the Ormond Beach area and forced the Florida Highway Patrol to shut down a three-mile stretch of Interstate 95 for a while, NBC station WESH of Orlando reported. I-95 was reopened but traffic was very slow because of long backups, WESH said.

It was unclear how the fire began. It started about four miles west of the Ormond Beach Airport, WESH reported. Ormond Beach is on the central Atlantic coast north of Daytona Beach.

About 100 firefighters battled the flames and by Saturday evening no homes had been burned. At least 10 bulldozers were digging containment lines and two helicopters were dropping water, WESH said.

High temperatures in the area Sunday were expected to be in the high 50s with winds around 15 mph.

NBC News' Michelle Acevedo and Gil Aegerter contributed to this report.