WEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Thick smoke continues to linger over the skies of Miami-Dade county after a stubborn brush fire charred 240 acres in Southwest Miami-Dade.
The fire, which started Monday afternoon in a wooded section near SW 8th Street and 137th Avenue, was 98% contained as of Tuesday. Forestry workers continue to monitor for hot spots and put them out when they develop.
“It went from one acre to forty acres in a matter of about 20 minutes,” said Scott Peterich with the Florida Forest Service.
Residents near the fire watched in amazement.
“From the balcony of the house you could actually see it starting to move pretty quick, too quick I think,” said Alicia Bourdon.”You could see it getting going and getting bigger and bigger.”
“This morning, the smoke and the smell was just pretty bad,” said Martha Gonzalez. “It does bother my son who has allergies; it does bother my pet.”
The fire sent plumes of thick smoke hundreds of feet in the air, but it did not threaten any homes thanks to winds out of the east-southeast which blew most of the smoke towards the west.
The first started around 3 p.m. Monday with just a few acres but as the flames spread, it on a life of its own.
“You could see it going and getting bigger and bigger and the smoke was black and then it was white,” said Bourdon.
Firefighters set controlled burns around the fire to eliminate any potential fuel to keep the fire from spreading.
“The good thing for us is that we have SW 8th Street as a buffer,” said Oscar Paz. “If we didn’t have the that buffer, I’d be worried.”
Now the Forestry Service will try to figure out how it started.
“There were a lot of people around in the area where the fire started in some Australian pine,” said Peterich. “We’ll do some investigating to find out if it was, in fact, set intentionally or accidentally. It’s very important that people who do start a fire are responsible for putting the fire out.”
Wildfire Awareness Week in Florida started last Sunday. South Florida is considered to be in high fire danger area, according to NOAA.