MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Drivers in Miami-Dade County saw dark smoke billowing from the southwest part of the county Monday evening. The smoke was billowing from a fire near SW 8th Street and 137th Avenue.
People who live in the area watched the fire start and spread.
“From the balcony of the house you could actually see it starting an moving pretty quick, too quick I think,” said Alicia Bourdon.”You could see it getting going and getting bigger and bigger.”
Scott Peterich, of the Florida Forest Service explained “it went from one acre to forty acres in a matter of about 20 minutes.”
As of 9 p.m., the blaze charred 200-acres and sent smoke shooting hundreds of feet in the air, but was not threatening any homes thanks to winds out of the east-southeast. That blew most of the smoke towards the west.
“We believe it’s contained at 30 percent and we’re comfortable with that,” said Peterich. While the forest service works to keep the fire under control, it will also investigate what started it. “There were a lot of people around in the area. The fire started in some Australian pine,” said Peterich. He added “We’ll do some investigation to find out if it was in fact set intentionally or accidentally.”
Wildfire Awareness Week in Florida started Sunday. South Florida is considered to be in high fire danger area, according to NOAA.
Florida officials offered up five tips to help prevent the fires that can often ravage many parts of the state.
- Check with local authorities for any temporary restrictions on burning yard waste.
- Contain fires to an eight-foot diameter pile or non-combustible barrel at least 25 feet from forests, 25 feet from homes, 50 feet from paved public roads, and 150 feet from occupied buildings.
- Do not burn on windy days or when the humidity is below 30 percent
- Never leave a fire unattended and make sure it is completely out before leaving
- Keep a shovel and water hose handy in case a small fire escapes containment.
Wildfire awareness week runs through this weekend. For statewide wildfire updates and additional wildfire information, visit www.floridaforestservice.com.