Smoke filled a large portion of downtown St. Augustine yesterday as firefighters brought brush fires under control in the area of Vermont Heights that were threatening Coquina Crossing and adjacent neighborhoods.
Fueled by high winds and dry conditions, St. Johns County firefighters brought in heavy equipment to battle the blaze whose source is still under investigation this morning.
According to one resident, who was one of many who found themselves directly downwind, smelling the smoke, his suspicions were of a wildfire were confirmed when a fire truck went roaring down his street. “I looked out to see what it was coming from. It looked close and my I grabbed my camera, jumped in the golf cart and found the above scene in the tree line along Las Nubes.”
Across the pond, to the east on Coquina Crossing drive, was a fire truck spraying the trees in the wetland area. The wind, which was gusting 35mph to 40mph, had blown burning ash in to the brush and ignited it. This posed an immediate threat to the homes on Mercado and Tierra Verde and the deputies were busy asking people to evacuate according to a blog report for the community.