Partly sunny with a thunderstorm in spots later in the afternoon
A thunderstorm around in the evening; otherwise, partly cloudy
Rises at 6:53 AM with 13:28 of sunlight, then sets at 8:21 PM
Rises at 3:45 AM with 13:51 of moolight, then sets at 5:36 PM
A brush fire on Egmont Key continued to burn Wednesday afternoon.
The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service said the fire was 50-percent contained and involved 79 acres. Firefighters were still on the island working to squash hot spots and trying to prevent a fire from flaring up again.
As the park remains closed, so does business for many boat captains in the area.
"The first thing that went through my head is, how many cancelations am I going to get," said Captain Orca with M.V Minnow tours off of Anna Maria Island.
Captain Orca's boat should have been packed with people going to explore Egmont Key, but Wednesday it remained empty.
Officials with FWC said a lightning strike to Egmont on Tuesday afternoon caused the fire to grow. As the flames grew, Captain Orca's cancelations rolled in.
"It is hurting me a little bit, along with a lot of the other ferries that come out here," he said.
There is also concern for the wildlife that lives on the island. There are bird sanctuaries and tortoises that roam the land.
"The birds are pretty smart, I'm not certain about the tortoises that are over on the north end," said Captain Orca.
The FWC said it believes all wildlife is okay, but officers will not be able to tell until the fire is completely out.
"I expected it to be under control. Maybe it is, but there is quite a bit of smoke out there," said Captain Orca.
As firefighters continue to put out hot spots and prevent another flare up, the park will remain closed. For now, Captain Orca and those who come to the island to make a living will have to find another way to keep business going.
"I guess I have to do more dolphin watches," he said.
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