Crews continue working to contain brush fire in South Miami-Dade - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Crews continue working to contain brush fire in South Miami-Dade

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The South Miami-Dade brush fire as seen from Card Sound Road The South Miami-Dade brush fire as seen from Card Sound Road
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Mark Benitez Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Mark Benitez

SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Crews are working to contain a brush fire that has burned more than a thousand acres and is causing problems for commuters heading to and from the Florida Keys.

By Tuesday morning, more than 1,200 acres had burned, and the fire was about 45 percent contained. Crews are patrolling the area to make sure the fires do not re-ignite.

Officials shut down Card Sound Road Monday morning when the stubborn fire, which began over the weekend, re-ignited. Crews have doused three different fires in the area and have opened and closed the road multiple times since then.

Monday afternoon, the fire had burned through 800 acres of land. "Imagine that, all the way to Key Largo and back around," said driver Chip Drotar as he reacted to the length of the fire.

Roger Russell with Florida Forest Service said, "We still have two fires on each side of Card Sound, running south as well, so Card Sound Road is going to be the area we are going to mainly have to shut."

By Monday afternoon, drivers trying to get to the keys were becoming frustrated. "I didn't even know there was a fire," said another driver. "I know the road was closed yesterday, but I didn't know it was still closed. I need to get to Ocean Reef, so I need to come down around. I have to go down to Key Largo to get back around here."

Crews are urging drivers to use caution and plan accordingly while commuting in the area, as they work to contain the blaze that first ignited on Saturday. "If there's smoke in the road make sure you have your headlights on, drive safely and don't be in a hurry," said Russell.

"We are going to work to keep U.S. 1 open throughout the day," said Russell. "The winds are supposed to keep coming out from north, and the [fire] lines we put in last night should hold the fire from going towards U.S. 1, but if we get any easterly component, it may slap across a line and we may have a completely different ball game."

Officials said the wind and dry grass caused the fire to spread quickly and jump to the other side of Card Sound Road. "The smoke is kinda drifting all over the place, and it's putting smoke on the road. That's the reason that the road has been closed," said Gary Lewis with the Florida Forest Service. "The northern half is a little better than the southern half. The southern half is a little foggier."

For most of the day Sunday, a 10-mile stretch of Card Sound Road in South Miami-Dade was shut down. Fire officials said, as of Sunday night, the blaze covered 250 acres and continued to grow.

"We had a brush fire that started yesterday, Forestry was out here yesterday; it started back up today," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Mark Benitez. "It was contained mostly on the north side of Card Sound Road. Then it jumped over to the south side, and it's still burning on the south side."

Pictures sent by a 7News viewer showed thick smoke in the area rising into the sky. Cell phone video taken by a passenger in a car heading home from Key Largo captured pockets of fire on both sides of the Card Sound Bridge. Another 7News viewer took pictures of the massive blaze Saturday night.

"Well, we had the north side of the fire pretty much out," said Benitez. "The wind shifted, which caused the fire to jump on the south side, which is causing the problem."

The Florida Forest Service said though the brush fire continues, it is not a threat to any homes, businesses or cars on the road.

Fire officials said they will remain at the site of the blaze throughout the night as they attempt to contain the flames. They said the cause of the fire is still unknown at this time.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has established a command area where they can pump water from a nearby canal, and on the southeast side of Card Sound Road an electricity company is servicing the poles.

Remember, if you see news happening and can do so safely, take a picture or shoot video and send it to: senditto7@wsvn.com.


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