Gusty winds are pushing the growing wildfire in Southeast Alachua County a little closer to Cross Creek. Forestry officials say a variety of agencies are fighting the fire from the air and on the ground. The wildfire has grown to about 1,300 acres as of Thursday afternoon. Heavy smoke and flare-ups caused a shutdown of U.S. Highway 301 near County Road 325 last night. The highway is currently open for traffic today. Meanwhile, Alachua County and Union County officials have issued a burn ban because of current fire conditions. Residents are not allowed to have any type of outdoor burning for the next two weeks given the extremely dry conditions. Marion County has just issued a voluntary burn ban.
In perhaps another sign of the times Tuesday, a Duke Energy power outage prevented residents from airing concerns about a proposed solar facility that would be managed by the utility.