Wildfires force evacuations in Florida
Authorities use a helicopter to fight the Florida blaze.
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(CNN) -- Wildfire forced about 800 people to flee their homes and closed a major highway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Sunday afternoon, a day after firefighters brought another blaze under control, local officials said.
The fire scorched about 700 acres of pine hammock as gusty afternoon winds drove it across Interstate 95 toward an upscale subdivision, City Manager Frank Roberts told CNN.
No injuries had been reported, but city officials ordered residents of about 250 homes to evacuate as the fire neared. (Watch smoke and flames from the air -- 0:40)
More than 180 firefighters were dispatched to battle Sunday's fire, and fresh crews and pumper trucks headed to the town from Jacksonville and Orlando, Roberts said.
Sunday's blaze spread rapidly, but was still smaller than the 1,000-plus acre blaze that hit a nearby area Saturday. Both were fueled by dry conditions and gusty, variable winds, municipal spokeswoman Shannon Lewis said.
"We have crews in the field trying to gain control," she said, adding that the fire jumped across some lines established by firefighters.
The fires sent thick columns of smoke rising over the coastal town of about 17,500 people, which is about 15 miles south of Daytona Beach.
Authorities closed the interstate between New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange, about 10 miles to the north, Lewis said.
The blaze forced authorities to cut power to the subdivision and residents were ordered to remain out of their homes overnight, he said.
The city set up a shelter in a nearby community center, but Roberts said most of those who fled their homes had made arrangements to stay somewhere else for the night.
Winds eased Sunday evening but were expected to pick up Monday and become "squirrelly" Monday afternoon, Roberts said.
A drier-than-normal spring has contributed to numerous brush fires across Florida in recent months.
"We've had a lot of little fires in Volusia County, but nothing like the one yesterday or the one today," Roberts said.
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