Pasco homeowners continue to deal with smoke from raging wildfire

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Harry Everett lives on Blaze Lane in the Rosewood neighborhood in Pasco County.

The neighborhood is on the edge of Starkey Wilderness Park. A short distance from Everett’s home, a 2,000-acre wildfire has been burning since the weekend.

Everett and his neighbors have been dealing with smoke every day.

“The mornings have been bad. I mean, you open that garage door and you’ve got smoke in the house, so you don’t want that,” said Everett.

Like many of his neighbors, he’s concerned about dry conditions and the fire.

Related: Smoke from wildfires disrupt lives, puts health at risk

“Look around you, there’s Starkey Park, we’ve had helicopters come in and grab water from the ponds, but now the ponds are dry,” he said.

A few doors down, Iris Hookway and her husband are also worried about the fire.

“There’s been no rain, so you worry about your roof catching fire and then loosing everything, and then I’m mentally going through what would I grab, you know, what do I want to save,” said Hookway.

She is concerned about her home and the things and people around her.

“My husband, my dog, my dog is a diabetic, so I worry about her, and then I’ve got neighbors who are elderly. I’ve got one that’s on chemotherapy. You worry about everything and everyone,” said Hookway.

Her husband doesn’t want to leave their home, but is preparing to do so if the wind shifts and pushes the fire closer to their home.

Related: How to prepare for a wildfire

“We can only just see what happens and put our faith in the firefighters and the hard work they are doing,” said Laurence Hookway.

The Florida Forest Service says the fire in Starkey Wilderness Park is more than 70% contained.

The park will remain closed through Sunday while the firefighting effort continues. All camping, biking and hiking trails are closed.

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