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Shell Key brushfire may have started with careless camper, deputies say

 
A brush fire broke out in a wooded area on the south side of Shell Key Preserve in Tierra Verde Tuesday afternoon and grew to about an acre. Investigators believe campers may not have properly extinguished a campfire. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
A brush fire broke out in a wooded area on the south side of Shell Key Preserve in Tierra Verde Tuesday afternoon and grew to about an acre. Investigators believe campers may not have properly extinguished a campfire. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
Published March 29, 2017

TIERRA VERDE — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies are investigating the cause of a brush fire that swept across more than an acre of wooded land on the south side of Shell Key Preserve on Tuesday.

The fire was reported about 12:50 p.m. Firefighters from Hillsborough County, Lealman, St. Pete Beach, Tampa and St. Petersburg spent nearly three hours trying to contain the blaze.

Investigators say that no one was on Shell Key Preserve when fire crews arrived, but there was evidence that someone had recently been camping there.

They suspect that the brush fire was started from a campfire that was not extinguished properly.