Heavy smoke from a large brush fire forced the closure of a portion of Interstate 75 in North Port on Saturday afternoon.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the road was closed just before 1 p.m. southbound at mile marker 170 and northbound at mile marker 179.
The fire has scorched about 2,000 acres and was 20 percent as of about 4 p.m., according to a spokesman with the Florida Forest Service. The fire also has spread to the Robinson Preserve nature area in Manatee County.
Motorists can use U.S. 41 as an alternate.
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