Indian Lake Estates brush fire reaches 700 acres, mandatory evacuation still in place

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Forest Service says a brush fire in Indian Lake Estates has now burned 700 acres, and is 60 percent contained.

The Red Grange fire broke out Friday evening. A mandatory evacuation order is still underway.

Officials say they can’t have both firefighting vehicles and residents going back and forth on the roads.

Polk County officials will make a decision at some point Saturday afternoon whether to lift the evacuation order or keep it in place.

In the meantime, the Red Cross has opened a shelter at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, located at 305 East Central Avenue in Lake Wales.

County officials also confirmed Saturday morning they are considering this a suspicious fire. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

If anyone has any information if anyone was involved in the fire, you are asked to call 1-800-342-5869.

At this point, no homes have been lost. County officials say there have been sheds and vehicles destroyed by the fire.

Forest officials say the fire moved quickly due to the wind and dry conditions.

Crews are not ready yet to say the worst is over, and have more resources coming in to make sure the fire stays contained.

County commissioners are asking everyone to comply with the burn ban because resources are stretched so thin due to wildfires.

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