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. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida softball returns to World Series; FSU baseball in ACC title game


    GAINESVILLE — Florida defeated Alabama 2-1 Saturday to win the deciding Game 3 of their softball Super Region, putting the Gators in the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in program history.

    ’NOLE POWER: FSU’s Dylan Busby, right, is congratulated by teammate Taylor Walls after Busby’s homer against Duke.
  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Christian to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a perfect 30-0 …

    Matheu Nelson of Calvary Christian celebrates scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning.
  4. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)


    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”