Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando wildfire contained; State Road 50 reopens

A pickup drives by a still-burning section along State Road 50 east of Ridge Manor Monday morning.


A pickup drives by a still-burning section along State Road 50 east of Ridge Manor Monday morning.

RIDGE MANOR — A 640-acre wildfire continued to burn Monday in parts of eastern Hernando County and the Withlacoochee State Forest. Officials expect the blaze will continue to smolder for at least another two weeks.

"Fortunately, it's quieted down a lot," said Don Ruths, a wildfire prevention specialist with the Florida Division of Forestry. "It's not much of a fire right now."

Early Monday, authorities reopened a section of State Road 50 that had been shut down Sunday because of smoke from the nearby brush fire. The blaze was first reported Sunday morning in the area of Richloam Clay Sink Road, just off SR 50 in Hernando.

Ruths said firefighters with the state Division of Forestry had contained nearly 40 percent of the fire by Monday afternoon. Much of the blaze had been limited to the Richloam Wildlife Management Area, Ruths said.

Firefighters spent much of the day successfully picking off embers that were coming out of the fire and knocking down trees that could reignite the blaze.

"We're cleaning it up and mopping it up," Ruths said. "We're putting out the hot spots and taking out trees that are blocking the road."

Firefighters were set to shut down operations about 1 a.m. and resume their efforts Tuesday morning. Ruths said no residents or buildings were in any danger; Hernando County Fire and Rescue will remain on call if that changes.

The fire was one of seven "significant" wildfires burning Monday, said Gerry LaCavera of the state's Division of Forestry. Of those, the largest was in Franklin County. There are also large fires burning in Sarasota, Volusia, St. Johns and Charlotte counties.

Joel Anderson can be reached at or (352) 754-6120.

Hernando wildfire contained; State Road 50 reopens 03/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009 6:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  2. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal.

    The Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. has 30 home runs this season while improving his defense and baserunning but wants to improve on his .236 batting average.