Miami/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Miami-Dade Firefighters Battle Large Brush Fires as Hundreds of Acres Scorched Near Southwest Miami Source: Unsplash/ Matt C

Smoke and fire continue to grip the outskirts of southwest Miami-Dade, as two large brush fires have scorched hundreds of acres and are battle tirelessly by firefighters. According to NBC Miami, one fire near Southwest 157th Avenue and Bird Road has burnt around 100 acres and is 95% contained. Another blaze, closer to Southwest 137th Avenue and Southwest 8th Street, has consumed up to 235 acres and is 85% contained as of Tuesday morning.

The joint effort between the Florida Forest Service and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to quickly contain the flames has been crucial. Firefighters are working to ensure that nearby properties and structures remain safeguarded, and to immediately extinguish any additional spot fires that might emerge. The larger of the fires began as a mild 4-acre burn on Sunday but swiftly grew, forcing a temporary closure on a segment of Southwest 8th Street. "It’s going to be smoky for the next few days," said Pete Donahue from the Florida Forest Service, indicating that residents need to be prepared for lingering smoky conditions.

Local residents have been advised to limit their exposure to the smoke, especially those with respiratory conditions. Officials recommend keeping windows and doors shut and to utilize air conditioning to recirculate inside air, until the air quality improves. The cause of the fires is still under investigation, with speculation that trail riding activities and indiscriminate dumping in the area could have contributed to the ignition.

Meanwhile, CBS News Miami reports residents expressing their concerns about the smoke. "Just wear a mask and go indoors," recommended Danny Calderon. Dr. Gustavo Ferrer, a specialist at HCA Florida University Hospital, warned about the dangers of inhalation of toxic smoke. "Smoke can damage your lungs... The people closest to the fire need to be aware of the potential damage to the lungs," he advised, emphasizing that symptoms like a persistent cough or the need to clear the throat could signal irritation from the smoke.

Fire officials are continuing to monitor the situation and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue had previously escalated efforts by calling in 18 units, reporting the advancement to a 2nd alarm to protect structures. Capturing some of the aftermath, Drone 4 relayed images of the charred landscape. Thanks to an easterly wind, much of the smoke was driven inland, moving it away from more populated areas. The focus remains steadfastly on fully containing the blazes to prevent further damage and protect the health and safety of the community.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies