Florida Fires Do More Damage; 3,000 Evacuate

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Wildfires burned several houses and a gas station Wednesday and closed a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 95, the major north-south highway along the East Coast, officials said.

Up to 3,000 people in and around the towns of Mims and Scottsmoor were again ordered to leave their homes after fires pushed around by shifting winds advanced on their properties.

The residents had been ordered out Tuesday when flames came within 50 yards of some of their homes. They were allowed to return late Tuesday and early Wednesday before they were again told to flee.

Mobile homes were burning in the Scottsmoor area, just inland from Cape Canaveral. A wildfire that jumped over U.S. 1 in the same area damaged a gas station and a Dairy Queen.


I-95 was shut down from Mims to New Smyrna Beach as four houses near Mims became enveloped in flames. A 16-mile stretch of U.S. 1, the other major north-south coastal highway, was also closed.

More than 1,700 fires have raged across the state since Memorial Day, destroying more than 250,000 acres.