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Tavares, Florida 32778


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Lake County public shelter to remain open overnight

RELEASE DATE: May 21, 2008

LAKE KATHRYN — Evacuated residents from the communities of Deerhaven Road were notified by officials at approximately 9 p.m. that due to concerns about fire containment and smoke, the safest place to spend the night was at a home of a friend or family member away from the wildfire, or at the American Red Cross provided shelter at the First Baptist Church of Paisley.

Arrangements were made for pet sheltering at the church. In addition, officials were working to set up school bus transportation in the morning for students who planned on
attending school.

Additional information from the Deerhaven wildfire (new information in bold):

• The Lake County Citizens Information Line (352-253-9999) will remain open until 10:30 p.m. to assist residents.

• The fire is holding at about 1,000 acres as the winds are beginning to die down. The Division of Forestry currently has 22 tractors on scene. The Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, is also on scene. Officials continue to report no structural damage.

• The Lake County Emergency Operations Center, located in the Lake County Administration Building in downtown Tavares, will remain activated at a level 2 until 12 a.m. when it will downgrade to a level 3 monitoring.

• A shelter is established at the First Baptist Church of Paisley, located at 25145 Fishermans Road with about 17 evacuees.

• Approximately 40 acres in size as of 2:45 p.m., the brush fire, which originated near the intersection of Jane Lane and County Road 42, is burning east.

• Residents of Deerhaven Road were evacuated as their homes were not necessarily in danger but their neighborhoods could be shut off from County Road 42 as the fire approached Deerhaven Road.

• The Lake County Health Department has issued a health advisory due to the wildfire smoke. Smoke is a respiratory irritant, and can cause scratchy throat, irritated eyes, nose and worsen conditions such as asthma and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions. If it is smoky outside avoid prolonged outdoor activities. It is especially important to limit time spent outdoors for children and persons with existing medical conditions.

• The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is requesting motorists to avoid the area completely in an effort to minimize traffic for emergency responders.

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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