HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – A roaring brush fire which has charred hundreds of acres in Homestead has forced the National Park Service to close land access to Biscayne National Park.

Park officials said the fire is burning just outside park boundaries along the park’s access road, Canal Drive. Park rangers have also closed the Dante Fascell Visitor Center and have escorted visitors out of the park.

“We are taking these precautions to help ensure the safety of the visiting public,” said Sula Jacobs, the park’s assistant superintendent. “We do not know the extent of the fire, but it is close to the park’s boundary and we don’t want to risk injury to our visitors.”

Lightning sparked the so-called “Turkey West Fire” in an area north of SW 344 Street and east of SW 117 Ave.

As of noon Wednesday the fire had burned more than 300 acres and was 50 percent contained.

“It is too soon to tell when the park will reopen,” Jacobs said. “We are coordinating with local authorities and will reopen the park after we determine it is safe to do so.”

The wildfire risk will remain high in South Florida for the next couple of weeks until the rainy season gets underway.


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