Brush fire continues to burn, but smoke stays clear of suburbs and coast

A massive brush fire in West Broward that began three days ago because of a lightning strike has burned more than 27,000 acres of the Everglades and was about 70 percent contained on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Florida Forest Service.

Tuesday’s weather has helped keep the thick smoke from spreading to urban areas as it did Monday.

“The wind flow is out of the southeast and it has been a big player in keeping the smoke away from the coast,” said Alex Gibbs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami-Dade.

Gibbs said afternoon rain could also help quell the flames.

On Monday, the smoke blanketed much of Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach, forcing health advisories and safe-driving warnings.

The fire started Saturday afternoon in a conservation area west of U.S. 27 and north of Interstate 75. The fire spread because of the sawgrass in the area and continued Tuesday to burn itself out, said Scott Peterich, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service.

“Visibility was better today so we were able to get a clearer picture of the fire,” Peterich said Tuesday. While the flames took out a large swath of the Everglades, Peterich said authorities are hopeful the fire will be contained to one area.

Peterich said the dispersion has also increased, which allows the smoke to rise, preventing from spreading.

“Looking better,” he said.

Read more Broward stories from the Miami Herald

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