Card Sound brush fire shows some signs of improvement, now 70 percent contained

A stubborn brush fire that has burned more than 1,900 acres around Card Sound Road in deep South Miami-Dade showed signs of subsiding Tuesday, allowing officials to reopen the stretch of road that leads to and from the Florida Keys.

The road was closed twice last weekend because of thick smoke and flames.

Bill Berry, a supervisor for the Florida Forest Service, said Tuesday that the morning humidity dampened some of the flames. Firefighters had the blaze about 70 percent contained Tuesday afternoon, but Berry said flare-ups were possible as the humidity wore off, and could force authorities to close the road yet again.

He also said a westerly wind expected Tuesday evening could help keep Card Sound Road open, but warned it could easily cause a threat to U.S. 1, the main gateway to the Keys.

“If there are hot spots they could reignite,” he said. “It’s a very difficult fire.”

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the forest service have been battling the blaze since Saturday afternoon. Berry said investigators were looking into whether the fire could have been started by arson, recreational vehicles or lightning.

The mucky swath of land filled with thick grass and Australian pines is dry and soft, and has proven to be a challenge for crews fighting the fire. Berry said that because of the soft land, equipment has gotten stuck.

Still, he said, “It’s looking better than it did [Monday].”

Berry brush fires are to be expected during the dry season, and that overall, South Florida has had a mild season so far.

“It’s just so dry out there that it continues to spread,” he said.

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