Fort Pierce wildfire 90 percent contained

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) - Thousands of residents returned home Sunday night after a wildfire that grew to 125 acres forced them to be evacuated in Fort Pierce, according to Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Melissa Yunas.

The fire forced the evacuation of about 2,500 people and, as of Monday morning, is about 90 percent contained. Officials said the fire is still active within a marsh, but is not affecting any homes. 

The wildfire damaged at least nine homes and several power lines in the area. 

Florida Power and Light officials said less than 100 people are without power Monday morning because of damaged lines, but crews should be done fixing those lines very soon.

The blaze started Sunday evening at the St. Lucie County Airport and burned on both sides of Indrio Road. At one point the fire jumped U.S. 1 toward Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

U.S. 1 re-opened around 6:50 p.m. Sunday.

The blaze grew rapidly, fueled by high winds with gusts of 32 mph. As of 7:40 p.m., the fire was 90 percent contained, Yunas said. 

Residents in the Indian Pines Golf Club located on the Turnpike Feeder Road also were evacuated. About 200 residences in total were evacuated.

Rescue workers warned returning residents to be careful since there are downed power lines and hot spots still burning.

According to Florida Power and Light spokesperson Sarah Gate, at least two crews were on the scene Sunday evening ready to repair or replace the damaged power lines. Each crew was made up of two to three people.

Evacuated residents were assisted by the Red Cross at the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office substation in the Indrio Crossings Plaza, located at 4844 N. Kings Highway.

A forestry helicopter assisted in battling the fire.

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