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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Rain keeps crews from fighting Levy Prairie fire

Weather conditions forced crews to stop fighting a 300-acre fire in eastern Alachua County after noon Sunday, but the rain probably won't stop the blaze.

The Levy Prairie fire, north of Hawthorne, has been contained since shortly after being reported at about 5 p.m. Friday, said Ludie Bond, spokeswoman with the State Division of Forestry.

Workers from the State Division of Forestry, along with Putnam County Fire Department and local volunteer departments, plowed ditches to keep the fire from spreading, Bond said.

Bond said she thinks the fire was man-made because there was no stormy weather Friday for lightning to start it.

Although the fire in the swampy hammock land saw a lot of rain on Sunday, the area is so large that not all of it received heavy rainfall, she said.

This is the largest fire of the winter season, which started in October.

A burn ban was instituted on Tuesday prohibiting homeowners from burning yard debris, Bond said.

Because the burn ban can only be in effect for a week at a time, the Alachua County Commission will decide this week whether to keep the ban in place.

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