MIAMI (CBS4) – A wildfire sparked by lighting has burned at least 150 acres in Homestead, according to the Florida Forest Service.
The “Turkey West Fire” is burning north of SW 344 Street and east of SW 117 Ave.
“If we get a lightning strike outside the main rainfall area, then this is going to happen,” said Scott Peterich, a wildfire mitigation specialist with the Florida Forest Service.
By sunset Tuesday, at least 150 acres were charred and the wildfire was about 45% contained, Peterich said.
Those figures were expected to change significantly by Wednesday morning.
“Knowing that we couldn’t stop this fire, and it’s going to continue to creep the next several days, our incident commander checking with the Weather Service and dispatch decided the best thing to do was to go ahead and burn it out,” Peterich said.
No water drops had been conducted Tuesday, but some were possible Wednesday.
Peterich told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana the forecast calls for winds out of the northwest come Friday, so FFS had to act fast to protect what’s nearby.
“Our biggest concern were the high voltage power lines from Florida Power and Light coming out of the Turkey Point power plant,” he explained.
No homes are in danger and the road is passable.
It was a much different scene in Broward Tuesday morning when a mix of smoke and fog forced the Florida Highway Patrol to shut down portions of Alligator Alley.
The fire danger index in Broward is very high thanks to the dry conditions there.
“It doesn’t take much for somebody to throw a cigarette butt out the window and ignite this dry grass,” said Fred North, a Lieutenant with The Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.
FHP will determine whether to close the road sometime early Wednesday.
“Be extra careful over the next several weeks until we get into a rainy season,” Peterich said. “Because our fire activity has increased greatly the last several weeks.”