POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) -- A wildfire in central Florida has forced the evacuation of dozens of homes, the closure of part of a key east-west highway and the relocation of some prison inmates.
The wind-driven fire in Polk County had consumed 11,000 acres by early Tuesday. It had also jumped Interstate 4, a heavily traveled route connecting Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach. A 10-mile stretch has now been closed.
No injuries were reported and no houses have been damaged. About 30 homes were evacuated in a sparsely populated area near Polk City.
"Because of the swampy area, this fire isn't going to subside for a long while," Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday as ash from the fire swirled around him. "It's got anywhere from 4 to 10 feet of fuel to burn before it reaches the dirt."
"People need to know that most of these fires are manmade, either by arson or human error," Bush said. "I-4 is closed, which has created an incredible hardship for many people, and we've got hundreds of firefighters out there all because of human error."
Some area residents returned to their homes Sunday afternoon after being told to leave Saturday night. Others ignored the evacuation orders, choosing to run sprinklers on top of their homes and in their yards.
The Detroit Tigers, who hold their spring baseball training in Lakeland, had to use alternate routes to get to their practice facility from Haines City hotels.
The Polk County Correctional Institute took 120 inmates with respiratory problems to neighboring jails, authorities said.
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