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Everglades Brush Fire Out, Dry Conditions Remain

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Smoke and flames from a brush off the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs.

Smoke and flames from a brush off the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs.

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CORAL SPRINGS (CBS4) – The fire that engulfed a chunk of land off the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs is out.

The fire, west of the highway between Sample Road and Coral Ridge Drive, was first reported around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Workers with the state’s Forestry Division battled the fire into the night. Because the wind was coming from the east, the flames and smoke were blown away from the highway and populated areas. By Monday morning, only a few small fires and smoke remained. Ash from the fire fell on Sawgrass Expressway. Forestry officials said approximately 55 acres were burned.

“What we find in sawgrass and ligther grassy fields is that when the moisture comes out like it did last night and you can see a lot of dew like on your windshield, that moisture will put that fire out, that is what occurred last night,” said Forestry district manager David Crane.

South Florida’s seasonal dry spell keeps the area at a greater risk for fast-spreading brush fires like this one. These fires can cause major environmental, social and economic damages.

“Right now what is concerning us is that we still have a ways to go, two more months before we start seeing that summer rain,” said Crane, “Things are still drying out (and) our drought index is extremely high.”

This year from January 1st through April 11th, there have been 68 brushfires in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. These fires burned approximately 1,455 acres. Last year during the same period there were 32 fires in the tri-county area which burned 23-hundred acres.

Although some fires are sparked by natural causes, like lightning, many fires are ignited by man carelessly and even on purpose. Prevention and awareness are keys in keeping wildfires at a minimum.

Prevention and awareness are keys in keeping wildfires at a minimum.

“If you’re barbecuing or using charcoal, think about what you’re going to do with that charcoal after you’re through because those do start fires,” said Crane.

He also provided a tip to help keep homes safer during dry season.  “Make sure that homes don’t have any pine straw or leaves in the gutters or on the roof, things that embers could get up to their house and ignite that pine straw,” said Crane.

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