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Pumpkin Hill Controlled Burn Jumps Containment

Kevin Meerschaert/WJCT

UPDATE 6:30 PM From the City of Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center 

  • On Tuesday afternoon, a wildland fire spanning at least 400 acres on Black Hammock Island near Cedar Point Road and Boney Road blocked access to three Duval County Public Schools—New Berlin Elementary, Oceanway Middle School and First Coast High School. 
  • Duval County Public Schools has provided transportation for approximately 35 affected students to their homes. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office provided escort for residents onto Black Hammock Island. 
  • At about noon, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) and Florida Forest Service began working the scene with about 100 personnel supporting the efforts. At the time of this release, personnel continued to work to contain the fire. 
  • The fire originated from a controlled burn near Pumpkin Hill Creek State Preserve. 
  • Access is limited due to closed roads. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is managing modified traffic patterns in the area. People who do not live in the area are urged to stay away. 
  • JFRD urges people to drive slowly and carefully in the areas impacted by the fire and smoke. A mixture of fog and smoke are possible Wednesday morning. 
  • At the time of release, no injuries or property losses have been reported due to the fire. 
  • Citizens are asked to report any fire activity to 9-1-1. JFRD reminds residents that outdoor burning is illegal without a permit in Duval County throughout the year.

UPDATE 4:26 PM- Kevin Meerschaert is reporting from the scene that the fire has now burned 125 acres and is 20 % contained. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is now taking residents of Black Hammock Island back to their homes.

Credit Kevin Meerschaert
The giant plume of smoke is visible from the Oak Grove Baptist Church on Cedar Point Road.

UPDATE 2:15 PM- The 75-acre fire is spreading smoke across the area, but according to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department one home is threatened but the JFRD is working to protect it.

All roads on Black Hammock Island have been closed.   Additional roads closed west of Black Hammock are Nungezer and Cedar Point and Boney and Cedar Point rd.

According to the JFRD twitter account150 units are on the scene.

We'll bring you updates when available.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.