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Smoldering Florida brush fire closes major highway

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - The smoldering remains of a 16,000-acre brush fire near Cape Canaveral, Florida temporarily closed Interstate 95 again on Tuesday, and the Florida police predicted to come.

A 13-mile stretch of I-95 was closed Monday and Tuesday mornings at around 5:00 a.m. local time due to a mixture of smoke and fog reducing visibility on the highway, according to Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes. The highway is expected to reopen after the morning rush hours and after the sun burns off the fog, she said.

"Even though the fire is contained, a lot of that muck and cypress is still smoldering," Montes said. "With the cooler weather, the fog rolls in."

A cold front that swept through the state recently created morning fog that exacerbated the visibility problem, she said. Another cold front is expected later in the week, increasing fog potential and the likelihood of continued road closures.

The road closures are expected to last approximately four hours and motorists are sent on a 10-mile detour.

The wildfire, which began eight days ago, initially closed almost 30 miles of I-95 from Mims in Brevard County to New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County.

(Editing by Greg McCune)