Deputies Say Fire at Shell Key Preserve May Have Been Caused by Improperly Extinguished Campfire

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Deputies Say Fire at Shell Key Preserve May Have Been Caused by Improperly Extinguished Campfire

Posted: March 29, 2017 – 7:55 PM

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Deputies assigned to the Marine & Environmental Lands Unit are investigating the cause of a brush fire that destroyed more than one acre of wooded land on Shell Key Preserve, in Tierra Verde.

At about 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, deputies responded to the south side of Shell Key Preserve after fire crews were called for a brush fire that was burning on the key. The PCSO helicopter “Eagle” was able to assess the exact location and extent of the fire.

Firefighters from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Lealman Fire District, City of St. Pete Beach Fire Department, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, and Tampa Fire Rescue assisted for almost three hours to contain the fire.

Firefighters transported portable water pumps and hoses to the key in order to battle the fire.

Deputies say more than one acre of wooded land was damaged on the south side of Shell Key Preserve.

No injuries were reported and no structures were threatened by the fire.

Investigators say that no one was on Shell Key Preserve when fire crews arrived, but there was evidence that someone had recently been camping in the designated camping area. Investigators suspect that the brush fire was started from a campfire that was not extinguished properly.

The investigation continues.

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