West Miami-Dade Brush Fire Now 80% Contained

West Miami-Dade Brush Fire Now 80% Contained NBCMiami.com

The brush fires raging through West Miami-Dade have burned through 68,295 acres, but forestry and fire officials say they are now 85% contained.

The smell, however, isn't going away any time soon.

"The forecasted winds today are from the northwest, so that blows whatever smoke is here toward the community [east of Krome Avenue]," said Florida Division of Forestry spokesman Scott Peterich.

The fire, which began last Sunday on the east side of Krome Avenue, jumped the road and headed west toward the Everglades. Billowing smoke had caused visibility problems, forcing Krome Avenue to close from Tamiami Trail to Okeechobe Road, but it was reopened Sunday night.

Fridays night's rainfall helped knock down the fire's western line, but officials are working to ensure the fire is gone for good before they reopen the road.

"We're out here trying to get this thing mopped up along the eastern edge of Krome Avenue," said Peterich. "We're working on that hard. We're going to be dropping some water on it from a helicopter, and our crews are out there to beat it up along with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

"We're really hoping to get a lot done today so sometime in the near future we can get Krome Avenue back and working."

The southern line of the fire remains a bit more problematic.

"It's so dry over here, we just can't get enough water on the southern fire line we've established," Peterich said. "The muck and the melaleuca is just sitting there smoldering."

If the fire breaks through the southern line, he said, it could burn all the way to SW 8th Street.

The exact cause of the fire isn't known, but some officials have theorized it could have been caused by the use of ATVs and dirt bikes in dry brush -- and caution against using such vehicles until the rainy season is under way.