Fire burns island on St. John’s River in Visalia

A grass fire that consumed an island in the St. John’s River in Visalia on Sunday was possibly started by transients, Battalion Chief Darrin Hughes said.

The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. on the island surrounded by the St. John’s River and the Modoc ditch. Hughes said crews found about 2-3 acres burned, and decided to let the rest burn off to prevent further fire danger. A total of about 5 acres was burned with no structure damage.

Hughes said investigators determined the fire was possibly started in a transient encampment and then spread to dry grass. Visalia firefighters have responded to several fires along the St. John’s River this season, Hughes said.