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Brush fire shuts down I-75 in Venice 5/22

Post Date:05/22/2020 7:53 PM

11:30 p.m. UPDATE: Interstate 75 is now open to all traffic north and south.

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8:20 p.m. UPDATE: Venice Fire Chief Shawn Carvey reports the brush fire is under control at this time. Interstate still shut down due to heavy smoke.

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Venice firefighters are battling a 15-acre brush fire on Interstate 75 this evening just south of Laurel Road. The blaze, caused by a lightning strike around 6:35 p.m., has shut down both the southbound and northbound lanes in the area of mile marker 195. Firefighters from Venice, Sarasota County, Nokomis, North Port and Englewood fire departments and the Forestry Service are working to extinguish the fire.
Northbound traffic is exiting at Jacaranda Boulevard and southbound traffic is being exited at the State Road 681 off ramp. Motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible.