Wildfire shuts down part of I-95 in Florida

An 11-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in northern Florida reopened Friday after being shut down due to a wildfire, snarling traffic on a major US highway at the start of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

The Yellow Bluff Fire has scorched 450 acres and is 30% contained, the Florida Forest Service’s Jacksonville office said. It started Wednesday, and detours were in place as it burns adjacent to I-95.

All southbound lanes of I-95 and two northbound lanes reopened Friday afternoon as conditions improved, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The interstate had been closed from the intersection of I-95 and I-295 in Duval County to State Road 200 in Nassau County, according to Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan.

The highway patrol had been diverting traffic off I-95, and both northbound and southbound directions were closed, said Officer Christian Hancock of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

I-95 is a major thoroughfare along the East Coast from Miami to the US/Canada border in Maine, and is also key to accessing major beaches in Florida.

“With the Memorial Day travel weekend approaching, all travelers should closely monitor the media for updates on safety,” said Commissioner Nicole Fried of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville issued a dense smoke advisory in the area. Visibility will be reduced to a quarter mile or less, it said.