SAN CARLOS PARK, Fla. – An unattended fire pit sparked a brush fire in San Carlos Park Tuesday morning, officials said.
Firefighters responded to the blaze just before noon in the area of Albany Road and Ellie Drive where crews found a fast-moving brush fire, according to the San Carlos Park Fire Department (SCPFD).
The fire grew to a total of one acre before crews were able to extinguish it. Investigators said the fire threatened several homes but only one home suffered minor exterior damage.
RELATED STORY: Burn bans in effect across Southwest Florida
A kitten was rescued from the brush and taken to Lee County Domestic Animal Services, firefighters said.
No other injuries were reported.
According to SCPFD, the fire was caused by a fire pit that had been left unattended in someone’s backyard.
This brush fire comes just hours after Lee County issued a burn ban that specifically restricts outdoor fires.
San Carlos Park fire is reminding residents and visitors that Lee County is currently suffering dry & windy conditions prime for brush fires.
Fire officials are asking the public to use common sense and help prevent more brush fires.
People should not be lighting a fire pit or anything else outside right now. Tuesday, Lee County and Charlotte County enacted burn bans. The burn ban is effective immediately because of increasingly dry conditions throughout Southwest Florida.
“Cooking fires and grills are exempted. So what you need to do with that though is if you’re five feet from the woods move that grill 20 feet from the woods,” Michael Weston, Administrator, Forestry Resource said.
Nicole Waldron is now left to pick up the pieces because that fire reached the back of her home.
“They were blocking my driveway so I’m like what in the h*** is going on.”
Waldron said she wasn’t home at the time of the fire but it has affected her in more ways than one.
“I don’t know when I’m going to get electricity back. I don’t know when the water is going to be put back on. I don’t really know what the process of that is but it just really sucks that because someone was not careful and not knowing how the right way to put out your fires.”
David Cambareri, Fire Chief of San Carlos Park, said burn bans help fire departments respond quicker to naturally caused fires.
“If we can cut those out and just work on handling the natural occurring fires it’s going to take our resources and allow us to be there more frequently.”
The Florida Forest Service offers residents information and tips at:
Be Wildfire Ready & Ready, Set, Go! Resources