Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Interstate 4 now reopen after wildfire smoke snarls traffic

Smoke from a five-acre wildfire closed a section of Orlando's main highway in the city's tourist district and snarled traffic for several hours Friday afternoon. The roadway reopened shortly after 5 p.m.

A section of eastbound Interstate 4 was closed because of billowing smoke that cut down visibility on Orlando's main artery.

The closure was from U.S. 192 to State Road 535.

The fire was nearby Walt Disney World and the busy hotel-and-attractions district on International Drive.

No injuries were reported.

Drivers were forced to take Exit 64 at U.S. 192 if they were headed east.

The smell of the burning wildfire first wafted across the bay area Friday morning.

Winds from the east and northeast Friday morning were probably to blame for bringing smoke from fires reported in eastern Polk County to the Tampa Bay area, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez. Several residents called Pinellas Park Fire Rescue to report smelling smoke.

The largest fire, totaling 980 acres, was reported in northeast Polk County three days ago and is likely causing most of the smoke in the air, said Florida Forest Service duty officer supervisor Lisa Frank. The fire, caused by lightning, was contained Thursday.

Smoke has also been reported in Orlando, Tampa and most of Polk County, Frank said.

Interstate 4 now reopen after wildfire smoke snarls traffic 05/25/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 25, 2012 5:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe


    In an expected move, the University of Louisville Athletic Association's Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and …

    In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association on Monday officially fired Pitino, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]
  2. Editorial: Trump uses Americans' health care as bargaining chip


    Unable to persuade Congress to kill the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump appears determined to do the dirty work himself. The president's unilateral actions are aimed at driving up premiums, steering healthy people away from the federal marketplace and ensuring his inaccurate description of the law as a …

    Unable to persuade Congress to kill the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump appears determined to do the dirty work himself.
  3. Port Richey fire chief charged with DUI, hitting a cop in the face


    PORT RICHEY — The Port Richey fire chief crashed a motorcycle, showed signs of impairment and hit a New Port Richey police officer in the face after being taken to the hospital Sunday night, according to a police report.

    A screenshot from the web site of Little Corona's Cigar Lounge, owned by Port Richey Fire Chief Timothy Fussell, who was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and battery on a law enforcement officer Sunday night.
  4. Trump: Cuba 'is responsible' for attacks on U.S. personnel


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he believes Cuba "is responsible" for attacks on American government personnel in Havana.

    President Donald Trump answers questions as he speaks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., in the rose Garden after their meeting at the White House, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Washington. [Associated Press]
  5. Sports anchor Tom Korun leaving WFTS after decades in Tampa Bay TV


    WFTS ABC Action News sports anchor and director Tom Korun is retiring from broadcasting after more than 14 years at the station and 31 years on Tampa Bay TV screens.

    Tom Korun is retiring after 31 years on Tampa Bay television.