Avon Park Air Force Range brush fire could grow to 3,000 acres

The Highlands County Sheriff's Office is warning about smoke in the area due to a wildfire at the Avon Park Air Force Range.

Deputies say the fire, which started Tuesday, has now grown to 500 acres and could become as large as 3,000 acres before it's fully contained.

They say residents should expect smoke in the area over the next few days.

Much of the 106,000-acre range along the Polk-Highlands line is open to the public for recreation, though a separate part of it is still used as a bombing range by the Air Force.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. In 2017, a training exercise sparked a 4,000-acre fire at the range.