April 9, 2012

Wildfire Smoke Threatens Motorists in Florida

Smoke from a massive wildfire in northern Florida poses a serious threat to motorists on major interstates.

The Columbia Line Fire continues to burn in extreme northern Florida near the border of Baker and Columbia counties.

The fire had consumed more than 4,500 acres, according the Lake City Reporter, at the start of today.

No structures or private property are in immediate danger with the fire confined to the boundaries of the Osceola National Forest. However, smoke is pouring away from the blaze and creating other dangers.

Earlier today, thick smoke plagued motorists traveling on I-10 through the Osceola National Forest.

Smoke even spread nearly 70 miles southward to Gainesville, passing over I-75 in the process.

Meteorologists expect winds to shift to the east tonight, taking the smoke away from I-75 and the Gainesville area but toward Jacksonville.

Poor visibility will remain a danger to motorists traveling on I-10 in between Jacksonville and the intersection of I-75.

The smoke may spread into downtown Jacksonville Monday morning, creating a nightmare for those with respiratory issues. Poor visibility would then become a concern for motorists on I-95.

By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist - Accuweather.com
Apr 8, 2012; 5:12 PM ET

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