Fire threatens homes in Moon Lake area of Port Richey

10:30 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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PORT RICHEY, Florida -- A fast moving fire in a swampy area near Moon Lake was mostly contained late Monday, but forestry officials say changing wind directions could send the fire back to the northwest, potentially threatening homes.

The fire was initially estimated to be around 35 acres in size, but quickly grew to around 100 acres by Monday afternoon. Forestry officials estimated the fire would burn around 150 acres by evening's end.

Marie Shomon lives along the fire's edge and worried about the changing conditions.

"Are we going to wake up in the middle of the night and the woods behind out house is on fire?" Shomon wondered. Her back yard is still charred from a second brush fire that came dangerously close to her home two months ago.

"That was really scary because that was 12 to 15 foot flames behind the house," said Shomon. "We've seen it as close as taking a hot dog and putting it on a stick and sticking it over your back fence. That's close!"

Forestry crews spent much of the day digging fire lines to separate thick wooded areas from area houses.

Along with the fire danger, forestry crews also predict a mix of heavy smoke and fog overnight which could impact visibility on State Road 52. Warning signs are currently up along the roadway and the county will monitor overnight conditions and decide if driving conditions become unsafe.

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