MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A wind-fueled wile fire in Everglades National Park forced authorities to shut down the Tamiami Trail on Tuesday.
They also evacuated residents living in an isolated group of homes as a precaution.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says more than 20 firefighters battled the blaze that was first discovered on approximately ten acres at 10:45 a.m. about 10 miles west of Krome Avenue off Southwest 8th Street.
A few short hours later the fire had spread and was engulfing 240 acres.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Lt. Kirsten Miller told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that all homes, buildings and other structures had been protected.
“We do have structural protections in place and that has been our main goal is to keep the fire from jumping across 41,” she said. “Crews evacuated people safely and no one was threatened. The biggest challenge was the wind.”
Scott Peterich, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service, said “We’re doing a back burning of the L-67 canal and trying to prevent this fire from getting in to Shark Valley. We are concerned about it jumping Southwest 8th Street. The winds are 25 to 30 miles per hour.”
Miller said it was too early to say what caused the fire.
By midafternoon the eastbound lanes on Southwest 8th Street had been reopened to traffic but the westbound lanes were still shut down at Krome Avenue.
One unidentified man said, “I need to get to the reservation but now I’ll have to turn around. I don’t know how I am going to get there today.”
An unidentified tourist from Massachusetts said he was trying to get to his campground in his trailer.
“We have got a week’s worth of food but I need to get to my campground,” he said.