Crews battle brush fires in SW Miami-Dade; 50 acres scorched

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Crews continued to work into the night as they tried to contain two brush fires that sparked Sunday in Southwest Miami-Dade, fueled by strong winds, low humidity and debris from Hurricane Irma.

7News cameras captured Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews hosing down a wooded area next to the Gateway Estates development, near Southwest 352nd Street, right off U.S. 1.

Officials said the first blaze broke out behind the mobile home park, located just north of Card Sound Road, during the overnight hours.

“It seemed to take off quick,” said concerned homeowner Audrey Marsill.

A homeowner saw flames through her security cameras in Florida City and called 911, just before 4 a.m.

“I’m concerned because this is a mobile home, and if it catches on fire, it literally will only take a minute or less to burn,” said area resident Daryl Brooks.

“When you see the flames, then it’s time to get a little panicky,” said homeowner Ralph Aiello.

MDFR crews responded and then contacted the Florida Forest Service.

“The fireman asked to start knocking on people’s doors, so we just asked everybody to come outside, just to make sure, just to be on the safe side,” said Marsill.

Officials said a second fire ignited Sunday afternoon on the other side of the mobile home park.

“They’ve got the structure protection setup, with fire hydrants, so they have an unlimited amount of water,” said FFS spokesperson Scott Peterich, “and not only get water out there to hopefully put the fire out but also protect the structures.”

As of 10 p.m., officials said, the flames were 40 percent contained, and the fire had burned 50 acres.

Extinguishing the fire has been a challenge, officials said, because this is a heavily wooded area. Hurricane debris is also fueling the flames.

Making matters even more difficult is that the winds picked up and the humidity dropped after crews had made significant progress.

“It gets so dry back there. It’s very wooded, and it doesn’t take much to get it going,” said Aiello. “My wife, she gets panicky because we had a close call four or five years ago.”

“When it’s dry, it’s just going to continue burning,” said Marsill, “but the fire department’s been on it.”

“Just staying prayed up and hope that everybody’s safe and they get it under control,” said Brooks.

Multiple crews continued to put water in the wooded area in an effort to contain the flames and protect the homes.

No injuries have been reported.

Officials cautioned area residents with respiratory issues to take the proper precautions since they expect smoke will continue to be a problem for the next several days.

Multiple crews continued to douse the wooded area with water in an effort to contain the flames and protect the homes.

“It gets so dry back there. It’s very wooded, and it doesn’t take much to get it going,” said homeowner Ralph Aiello. “My wife, she gets panicky because we had a close call four or five years ago.”

No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fires remains under investigation.

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