|Published:||Apr 28, 2011 4:30 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Apr 28, 2011 12:39 AM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Three more wildfires swept Southwest Florida this afternoon, fueled by extremely dry conditions and spreading dangerously close to homes and roadways.
"It's scary, because in a minute you can lose everything," Golden Gate resident Dawn Gustafson said on Wednesday.
Golden Gate residents watched helplessly, as an 8-acre brush fire crept closer and closer to Green Avenue. Travis Waters rushed to help his parents protect their home, as the fire smoldered in their backyard...blanketing their property in thick smoke.
"About three o'clock, I pulled up. Looked on the side of the fence. It started on our fence line, then started climbing up our fence line. Flames were shooting 20, 25 feet high off the cabbage palms," Waters said Wednesday.
The fire started near the intersection of Green Blvd and Santa Barbara Blvd, and crawled dangerously close to homes, apartments, and the road.
"When I saw that smoke that close like that, I didn't know if we should have our parents get out or not, you know. It was getting scary there for a little bit," Waters said.
Farther north, firefighters spent hours battling a 125-acre brush fire in south Punta Gorda. One family braved a fiery pasture to help save their horses...later, thanking firefighters for protecting their land.
"They are awesome. I can't give these guys enough credit for the job they've done today. It's amazing because you couldn't even see out here a little while ago. The helicopter was out, dumping water. These guys are working nonstop," Punta Gorda resident Susie Singletary said on Wednesday.
In Lehigh Acres, a half-acre brush fire burned off of 5th Street SW. It was sparked by kids playing with fireworks. All three fires had neighbors fearing their homes could be reduced to rubble in a fiery flash.
"You never think it's going to happen in your backyard, you know. You see it on the news all the time, there's a lot of fires going on. But you never think it's going to happen to you," Waters said.
All three of those fires are completely contained tonight. Firefighters are watching for flareups.