Courtesy photos / A large mid-June fire shown here in the Maytown Road area between Oak Hill and Osteen was among dozens of wild fires plaguing rural Volusia County, have finally been quelled by several weeks of steady rain leading to county officials announcing Wednesday that bans in place on fireworks use and outdoor burning would be lifted by this weekend. 

DELAND -- Volusia County Fire Services will lift the outdoor and fireworks bans for the county’s unincorporated areas as well as the cities of Lake Helen, Pierson and Oak Hill at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The burn ban had been issued March 3, and the fireworks ban took effect June 6.

“The environmental conditions have improved because of the recent rain storms,” Volusia County Fire Services Chief Joseph Pozzo said earlier today, referring to the 12-plus inches of rainfall in the last few weeks. “But there is still a lot of dry vegetation throughout the county, so we ask residents to continue practicing wildfire safety.”

Pozzo notes that residents should not discard cigarettes from moving vehicles or park a hot car or operate all-terrain vehicles on dry grass. Outdoor fires and grills should be attended constantly and extinguished completely, and lawn mowers and farm equipment should be checked to make sure they have properly working spark arresters.


Audra Anderson of Pierson charged with 2nd-degree murder.Courtesy photo / Bloodshed in a Pierson home was not a suicide as first believed, but murder with a live-in girlfriend charged with shooting her boyfriend to death.

PIERSON -- Audra Anderson She initially claimed she had just woken up and wasn't sure what had happened, insisting that her boyfriend, 38-year-old Robert Wood, must have accidentally shot himself. But with Wood succumbing to his injury, Volusia County Sheriff's investigators further questioned her about the details of the shooting that occurred shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the couple's home on Buckles Road.

"Anderson told investigators several different stories, eventually admitting that she fired the fatal shot that killed Wood," agency spokesman Gary Davidson said.


Courtesy graphic / The National Weather Service in Melbourne shows temps today will continue in the low 90s with no rain relief in sight until Thursday.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Today is the first day of summer with no rain in sight until Thursday at the earliest with the threat of continuing wild fires the new reality.


Courtesy photos / With at least four active wild fires, including a large one in the Maytown Road area, shown here,  at  and at least half a dozen still simmering for several days, firefighters throughout Volusia County continue to work them this morning.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- James Arlotta loves to take his early run on the beach, but not this morning.

"The air is full of smoke," the 54-year-old beachside resident said. "I was out in the smoke all day yesterday and it bothered my eyes and breathing. So when I got up this morning and went outside the smoke was so thick I didn't think it would be healthy to run in."

Smoke is everywhere and driving is particularly hazardous on the interstates.

Firefighters from the Division of Forestry, Volusia County Fire Services, and additional task force teams of city firefighters, continue to work four active fires on this Thursday morning while monitoring several other fires closely, with mop up as needed, throughout Volusia County.

"There are no evacuations at this time," Volusia County spokeswoman Joanne Magley told NSBNews.net at 7:30 a.m.


Courtesy photo / Thick smoke billows from a wild fire off a muddy dirt road in DeLand near Daytona Park Estates subdivision where a dozen homes were briefly evacuated earlier in the week.

DELAND -- With growing concern about the extreme dry conditions, the spate of wild fires and a forecast that calls for less than normal rainfall, Volusia County Fire Chief Joseph Pozzo has been authorized to enact a fireworks ban that begins Monday in the unincorporated areas of Volusia County and the cities of Lake Helen, Oak Hill and Pierson, which are part of the county’s unified fire district.


DAYTONA BEACH -- The number of people killed on the roadways of Volusia County stands at two with the most recent a 56-year-old Port Orange motorcyclist in a crash near Daytona Beach on Sunday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.


DELEON SPRINGS -- A 25-year-old Pierson man died Saturday night after leaping from a moving car in DeLeon Springs, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office reported.

Jose Perez was in the front passenger seat of the car while his girlfriend was driving. Perez wanted to drive, but the woman refused to let him because he was drunk, Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said. As the argument escalated, Perez suddenly opened his door and jumped out, the spokesman added.


PIERSON -- Firefighters from four agencies continued to make progress Sunday on three brush fires that started in West Volusia the day before.

The Pierson fire, near the intersection Bell Fountaine Avenue and Carruthers Lane, grew to 243 acres and is 80 percent contained. Volusia County Fire Services was assisted by the Firewalkers, a multi-agency team of firefighters who specialize in brush fires, in this rural fire.


PIERSON -- Volusia County Fire Services responded to four brush fires in West Volusia earlier today sparked by dozens of lightning strikes and were helped in their efforts by a heavy rain storm that moved through the area between 3 and 4 p.m.


PIERSON -- A 23-year-old woman reported missing from a home here Thursday night was found the following evening walking on a sidewalk along Granada Boulevard near State Road A1A in Ormond Beach, a Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman said.