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Haze from controlled burns blankets central Florida, worries residents

by Emilee Speck, WKMG-TV (Orlando, Fla.) |

ORLANDO, Fla. – Three controlled burns sent thick smoke across Central Florida Tuesday prompting multiple 911 calls from concerned residents.

Officials with the Orange County Fire Rescue said three controlled burns in Orange County were the cause of the haze.

The thick smoke could be seen over Downtown Orlando around 2 p.m. and sightings were reported across Central Florida. Smoke blanketed areas in Orange, Seminole, Lake, Volusia and Brevard counties, according to reports.

“911 operators are receiving multiple calls with reports of smoke in the area,” Orange County Fire Rescue said in a tweet. “There are 3 large controlled burns taking place in Orange County today. Windy conditions are moving the smoke across the county."

Florida Forest Service officials in Orlando said there is a controlled burn near Lake Apopka and, according to Orange County Fire Rescue, two other burns were happening near State Road 520 and 528 and SR 528 and Dallas Boulevard.

A controlled burn in Putnam County was also sending smoke into the Central Florida area. Southward winds were pushing smoke from the prescribed burn at Dunns Creek Conservation area down through the state.