Prescribed Burn Sends Ash & Smoke Into NE Broward

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (CBSMiami.com) – The skies over parts of western and northern Broward County filled with smoke and ash early Thursday afternoon.

The winds shifted over a controlled burn in Palm Beach County at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, pushing the ash and smoke into Coral Springs, Parkland, Weston, Sunrise, Davie, Oakland Park and other cities.

A photo taken by a Coral Springs city employee showed clouds that resembled storm clouds over the Sportsplex near the Sawgrass Expressway around 1:30 in the afternoon.

Ash gathered on cars and dozens of people called 911 to report seeing smoky conditions.

However, hours later, the situation began to clear and parks filled with kids practicing football and softball and other children playing at playgrounds. It appeared that winds shifted again, pushing the smoke further west, away from populated areas.

A blessing for people — the air was not filled with a choking, smoky odor.

Jan Scog watched her granddaughters, Alexis and Carlin, playing at the Sportsplex.

“If it did smell bad, then we would be (inside),” she told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “But it’s really a nice day. It’s a nice day because it doesn’t smell.”

John Wallace, Prescribed Fire Specialist at the WIldlife Refuge, said he cut the burn short Thursday because of the shifting winds. He did it “so smoke wouldn’t impact communities on the eastern side” of the burn.

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