Fire officials in Pasco County are reporting that a brush fire which shut down State Road 54 earlier Tuesday is, as of 9 p.m., approximately 80 percent contained.
- State Road 54 shut down at Old Country Road 54
- Florida Forest Service assisting in firefighting operation
- MORE: Recent brush fire coverage by Bay News 9
The fires started Tuesday afternoon in the area of State Road 54 and Old Country Road 54. Pasco Fire Rescue said several fires were set in the Seven Springs area, covering about 29 acres.
S.R. 54 was shut down in both directions, and events at Arthur Engle Memorial Park were canceled. Students at Seven Springs Elementary School had to be let out early due to the fire and smoke.
Fire fighters called the fire "suspicious," and as crews got the fires more contained, arson investigators arrived on the scene.
"It's impacting us greatly, to have to come out and fight an intentionally set fire," said Shawn Whited of Pasco Fire Rescue. "But when we get out here our goals are to protect people, protect their property and not get anybody hurt."
The Florida Forest Service also assisted in the effort to control the fires.
Both directions of State Road 54 were re-opened as of 8:43 p.m. Pasco Fire Rescue reminded residents to use care while driving in the area of Old 54 and State Road 54 in the area of the Anclote River bridge due to persisting smoke.