Military units conducting training exercises on the Avon Park Air Force Range in Florida sparked a fire Wednesday afternoon.

According to FOX 13, the fire has since grown to cover 4,000 acres along the Polk and Highlands county line.

A spokesman told FOX 13 Thursday the fire is 50 percent contained and is smaller than originally estimated. Spokesman Buck Mac Laughlin said by early Thursday evening, 6,000 acres had burned.

FOX 13 reports the fire started Wednesday and although the blaze’s source has not been officially identified Mac Laughlin said the culprit could have been rockets, a missile or possibly a bomb.

Firefighters from the range spent Wednesday evening trying to contain the fire.

“Big picture wise, we’re just trying to box this thing in on control lines. That’s the road we’re on now,” Dale Pfau, Fire Program Manager for the Range told FOX 13.

Pfau tells FOX 13 the fire is boxed in on three sides so far. Firefighters are now lighting controlled burns around the rest of the fire. The controlled burns eliminate underbrush and are intended to stop the fire from spreading.

 

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