What to Know
- The large brush fire started Sunday night in the Florida Everglades in west Broward County
A large brush fire continued burning and increased in size in the Florida Everglades in west Broward County for a second straight day Tuesday and led to the brief closure of a major roadway.
About 33,500 acres were burning about five miles west of U.S. 27 and 1.2 miles north of Interstate 75, Florida Forest Service officials said. The fire was 40% contained as of Tuesday as it continued to grow about eight miles west of the City of Weston.
Smoke from the fire led to the closure of Alligator Alley westbound from US-27 in Broward County and eastbound from State Road 29 in Collier County, Florida Highway Patrol officials said.
Offshore (westerly) wind right now may bring smoky smell into western Broward metro area. Once sea breeze unfolds and marches west, E/SE wind will correct this. Inland storms •may• help fire. 15.5k acres is massive. https://t.co/QxZun4W009— Ryan Phillips - NBC6 (@RyanNBC6) June 24, 2019
But the closure was short-lived, as rain in the area improved visibility and allowed troopers to re-open the roadway, FHP officials said.
The fire started Sunday night and is being monitored by the forest service, which said northeast winds may put ash and smoke into southwestern Broward County.
"Residents with breathing complications should take appropriate measures," officials tweeted Monday.
Officials said the fire started with a lightning strike.
UPDATE: #SawgrassFire is 32,000 acres and 30% contained.@FLForestService on-site assets: fixed-wing aircraft, fire engines & trucks, 7 wildland firefighters.@NIFCfire map shows hot spots. Follow @FFS_Everglades for latest, and @FLHSMV for I-75 & US-27 impact. pic.twitter.com/ijT9evURZ9— FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services (@FDACS) June 25, 2019
No structures were threatened but officials said the smoke may impact nearby roadways.
"Motorists and residents in the area should exercise caution by slowing down, turning on their headlights, and watching for emergency vehicles," forest service director Jim Karels said in a statement.
@FHPPalmBeach & @FHPSWFL are in the process of closing Alligator Alley from US 27 (23mm) in Broward to SR 29 (80 mm) in Collier due to poor visibility from the Everglades 🔥 US 41 is an alternate route. Travel safe— FHP SWFL (@FHPSWFL) June 25, 2019