US-1 reopens this morning

Sergeant Charles E. Mulligan just reported to Historic City News that personnel are removing equipment and barriers in the area of US-1 North, between International Golf Parkway and CR-210 West and tells us, “We estimate the road will be available for traffic flow around 8:00 a.m. this morning.”

Word just in from Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Kelshaw that US-1 will reopen soon, according to Florida Department of Transportation officials on the scene.

Work continues this morning by fire personnel from St. Johns and surrounding counties to “back-burn” the area near yesterday’s 100 acre woods fire and to replace power poles destroyed in the blaze.

Motorists are still asked to avoid the area if possible due to residual smoke and continuing firefighting activity.

Due to numerous pieces of firefighting apparatus and shifting winds causing hazardous roadway conditions the section remained closed through the night. Deputies went door-to-door to homes in the area last night; alerting them to the danger and some were asked to evacuate.

Workers were asked to leave commercial buildings, including the St. Johns County Pet Center and Animal Shelter on Stratton Road. Firefighters took extra care to wet down the area to help protect the center. Officials there felt the animals were not at risk.

“The fire, initially, was on both sides of the road,” Jeremy Robshaw, of St. Johns County Fire Rescue, told Historic City News. “The bulk of the fire is burning west of the highway.”

A shed on one resident’s property along Stratton Road was lost in the fire, according to county officials. Fire officials also said part of the mobile home on that property was damaged by the fire.

At one point last night, the fire was putting up a large column of smoke in woods about 2 miles north of the Palencia community that could reportedly be seen from St. Augustine South.

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