South Florida

Hialeah Brush Fire Still Not Completely Contained, Despite Rain

A stubborn brush fire is still burning in Hialeah, even despite some rain Friday.

Firefighters say they're employing a "watch and wait" strategy in a massive brush fire that continues to burn Friday, more than 33 hours after it first sparked in Hialeah.

The Forest Service said the afternoon thunder showers truly helped by soaking the dry grass but even with all of the rain that fell, it really has not been enough to put the fire out. As of Friday night, it was 80-percent contained.

"It's not going anywhere. Let it burn, and that way, it's not going to burn again," said Ranger Gabriel Llamas of Florida Forestry Service. The fire is expected to burn for at least several more days.

The brush fire was reported around 2 p.m. Thursday near northwest 102 avenue and 154th street in Hialeah.

"We were just driving around and I spotted it and I was like, "wow that's crazy that there's a fire that big here!'," said neighbor Ilissa Duran.

It's the kind of sight that draws neighbors from all over.

"It's pretty sad but hopefully they get everything figured out and it will be OK."

Hialeah Fire says no homes are threatened and no one has been hurt.

But it hasn't been an easy battle.

"There is some tire debris in there and what happens with that is it actually melts down and it forms a cap over the remaining fire and debris and you can't penetrate it with water," said Capt. Cesar Espino of the Hialeah Fire Department..

Hialeah Fire believes the brush fire started near a mountain of debris.

Crews have dealt with winds spreading flames, rough terrain and having to shuttle in water to the mostly untouched wilderness.

"It's a lot of dirt roads, a lot of it is in between tall trees, a lot of muddy areas," Duran said.

Firefighters said at one point, the blaze sparked several smaller fires. Forest service crews cleared the brush to keep it from spreading and the fire was eventually contained to one area, but not before burning about 40 acres.

"That's heavy lumber and it's burning and it's impenetrable and were not going to get to the bottom of it," Espino said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. But the Forest Service said they believe the fire may have started by off-roading recreational vehicles in the area, an activity the area is popular for.

Check back with NBC 6 South Florida and for updates.

Contact Us