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Jan 09,2008
Florida wildfire smoke causes 50-car crash
by UPI

POLK CITY, Fla. -- Smoke from a Central Florida wildfire coupled with fog Wednesday morning led to a 50-car pileup and closure of part of Interstate 4, local media reported.

At least three fatalities were reported in the crashes caused by zero visibility and several tractor-trailers were reportedly burning, WOFL-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported.

The Florida Highway Patrol said troopers were unable to reach the scene by vehicle and were walking through the smoke to locate victims, WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., reported.

Troopers closed the highway for about 15 miles between Lakeland and Kissimmee, and appealed for drivers to park their cars and remain inside to avoid endangering emergency crews, the reports said.

The fire was lit by officials on Tuesday as a controlled burn but it broke a firebreak and burned about 250 acres before firefighters declared it contained, WOFL said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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