Forest / Wild Fire in USA on April 09 2017 05:41 AM (UTC).
A red glowing sun was covered by the smoke from a red-hot fire in Seminole County Saturday afternoon. Resources from all over the county were brought to bear on the 165-acre brush fire in Chuluota at County Road 19 at the Seminole/Orange County line. "The best news is got everyone out safely," Florida Citrus Council CEO Maryann Barry said. About 100 people had to be evacuated from Camp Mahkawwee where adult Girl Scout volunteers had a retreat over the weekend. No children were at the camp. "A wildfire started on a part of the camp we don't use and we were notified of the wildfire," Barry said. "We evacuated. Everyone evacuated. Unfortunately, we lost the entire west side of camp. All the structures are gone on the west side." Eleven structures were burned, including fixed tents and cabins at the camp. "It (the brush fire) will be under investigation. As far as the origin is concerned, it started somewhere behind the neighborhood, between the neighborhoods and the Girl Scout camp is what I know," Sean Gallagher, the Florida Forest Service's Orlando District Manager, said. Inside River Woods near the camp, smoke and flames could be seen where 15 homes were evacuated, two mandatory. Four homes were evacuated in Live Oak Reserve. "I smelled some smoke and turned around....There's big plums of dark smoke. Ashes started landing on me 10 minutes later," River Woods resident Joe Arcamorne said. Carl Zelich, also of River Woods, said his cat Nala woke him up. "All of a sudden she smelled the smoke and came over and jumped in my chest, so you know when you get jumped by a cat you got to do something," Zelich said. Residents and Girl Scout volunteers all sought refuge at the nearby VFW Post, which is a shelter. Cmdr. Donald LaFlamme, at VFW 10139, said they're there for the community. The post has housing, food, water and other provisions for the evacuees to spend the night.