Environment

Nearly 40 Acre Woods Fire Burning in Pumpkin Hill

Nearly 40 Acre Woods Fire Burning in Pumpkin Hill

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 39.5 acre woods fire is still burning in the Pumpkin Hill area of Jacksonville's North Side.

Because of the fire, JFRD shut down Cedar Point Road in the 6500 block. Officials however did allow people to sporadically drive down the road, a few cars at a time. That road has since re-opened.

This morning, crews were putting water on a few small fires burning off Cedar Point Road. Smoke crossed the road, making the morning drive hazardous.

Viewers from as far away as Fernandina Beach report smelling the smoke.

No homes have been evacuated, according to the Department of Forestry, but the fire did get as close as a quarter of a mile from homes.  As of late Sunday night, the fire was 90 percent contained.

Pumpkin Hill Fire Through Your Eyes

Pumpkin Hill Fire Through Your Eyes

A 100 acre woods fire is still burning in the Pumpkin Hill area of Jacksonville's North Side. Send your pictures and stories to mycommunity @firstcoastnews.com.

North Brookside Community Tree Planting Event

North Brookside is planning a major tree planting event on May 21, 2011 starting at 9am –noon. North Brookside Cares is a partnership between Grace and Truth Community Development Corporation (GTCDC), Norwood Business Association,  Norwood Neighborhood Association, Loews Home Improvement, The Girl Scouts Of America (Gateway Chapter), The Boy Scouts Of America (North Florida Council),  GreenScape of Jacksonville, and Green ReLeaf (Jacksonville Energy Authority). These organizations will come together in a collective effort to plant trees, beautify various homes and common areas in the North Brookside Community.

Update: Okefenokee Swamp Fire Now 81,000 + Acres

Update: Okefenokee Swamp Fire Now 81,000 + Acres

SLIDESHOW: OKEFENOKEE FIRE

FOLKSTON, Ga. -- A rapidly growing wildfire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has burned more than 81,000 acres as of Monday night and managed to escape the swamp's eastern boundary, where firefighters managed to contain the flames to a few acres on private land, officials said Monday.

First Coast News has obtained exclusive aerial pictures from above the Okefenokee Swamp. "It's the worst I've ever seen," said Phil Whitley, a videographer who shot the fire from 1,500 feet above the swamp this afternoon.

He said he also saw the massive fires along the First Coast in 1998, and this is much worse. "Miles and miles of individual fires" are what he saw.

Whitley said he had to stay well to the west just to avoid getting lost in the smoke, which is drifting over the First Coast.

Warm Weather Means Active Alligators and Crocodiles

Warm Weather Means Active Alligators and Crocodiles

The onset of warm weather in the spring is when Florida's alligators and crocodiles start getting active, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds Floridians and visitors to be cautious when having fun in and around water.

Great Cloth Diaper Change Event, April 23

Great Cloth Diaper Change Event, April 23

Cloth diapers have come a long way in the past ten years. An event, called the Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011, already creating a buzz not only in North America, but all over the world, will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2011 in locations all around the globe. The Great Cloth Diaper Change (http://www.greatclothdiaperchange.com) will set a world record for the most cloth diapers ever changed simultaneously.

Household Hazardous and E-waste Mobile Collection Event this Weekend

The City of Jacksonville Solid Waste Division hosts a series of six household hazardous waste and electronic waste (e-waste) mobile collection events throughout the city each year.  The third in the 2011 series takes place this Saturday.