WEST BROWARD, FLA. (WSVN) - Three wildfires continue to spread across the Florida the Everglades since Thursday, causing smoky conditions for area residents.
Video from 7SkyForce showed the wetlands preserve on Friday as one of the fires burned about a mile away from the Sawgrass Expressway.
According to the Florida Forest Service, the flames have consumed more than 20,000 acres.
The brush fires have also impacted wildlife.
“Some of these nests are on the ground and are at risk of being destroyed,” said Bill Ferris, an airboat captain.
The fires are sending plumes of smoke and ash into neighboring counties, including Palm Beach and Broward, as smoke carries over onto area highways.
“We were driving up on [Interstate] 75, and we smelled it a little, kind of closer when we were on the edge of the Everglades,” said Weston resident Jason Cogan.
Officials have cautioned drivers in Western Broward the smoke could make it hard to see as the winds carry the smoky haze.
“The main concern with these winds right now, on this fire, is the possibility of smoke on U.S. 27,” said David Rosenbaum with the Florida Forest Service.
The fires are said to have been started by lightning. Rosenbaum said it’s a natural occurrence.
“We get afternoon thunderstorms, you get frequent lightning, it does get into these areas of sawgrass and burns off some of the unburned fuels,” he said.
Meanwhile, the smell of the burning sawgrass marsh has become all too familiar for those who live in the area.
“It smells like something’s burning, what you would expect,” said Weston resident Andrea Frieberch.
Two of three wildfires have not been contained as of Friday.
For now, officials expect the fires to burn out on their own.
“I’ve seen a lot of this beautiful planet, but the Everglades is very unique,” said Ferris.
As of Friday afternoon, the fires do not pose a threat to any structures. No injuries have been reported.
According to Florida Forest Service on Saturday, 20% of the fire is contained in Broward County and 35% of the fire is contained in Palm Beach County.
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