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Florida roads re-open but brush fire still threatens

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - A nearly 30-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in eastern Florida, closed since Monday due to a spreading brush fire, re-opened shortly after 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday, according to the Brevard County emergency management center.

A portion of U.S. 1 in Brevard County which had been closed also re-opened, emergency officials reported.

But Brevard County, home of Kennedy Space Center, remains under a state of emergency due to a 10,000 acre brush fire threatening homes and reducing visibility on the roads.

One mobile home and two hunting camps have been destroyed, 200-300 homes are threatened and the county has been placed under a voluntary evacuation, according to Brevard County firefighters.

"The conditions were very ripe due to all of the freezes that came through (this winter)," one firefighter told reporters in a briefing Tuesday morning. "The vegetation on top of the ground was dead and already dry."

The fire, which erupted west of I-95 shortly before noon on Monday, spread east and as far north as New Smyrna Beach area of Volusia County, firefighters reported.

They hope heavy rains moving mid-morning on Tuesday from Orlando toward the fire will help them gain control over the blaze.

(Reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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