South Florida

6,600 charred acres later, Everglades brush fire on the wane

A brush fire known as the Holiday fire because it first threatened Everglades Holiday Park in Broward County was 85 percent contained by Saturday evening but was still smoldering, the Florida Forest Service said.

Fueled by windy and dry conditions, the blaze charred 6,600 acres as it ripped through western Broward and then extended into northwest Miami-Dade County, said Scott Peterich, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service.

The fire, which started in Broward County on Wednesday, threatened Holiday Park at the end of Griffin Road off U.S. 27 on Thursday, then came dangerously close to Mack’s Fish Camp on the fringe of the Everglades Friday morning. Owner Marshall Jones said the fire came within 80 to 150 feet of buildings at the popular fish camp.

But an emergency fire break that Jones himself fashioned as well as controlled burning by firefighters along the western slope of a levee from Holiday Park to Krome Avenue helped protect the fish camp from damage. “We took out all the fuel for the fire on the western side of the levee,” Peterich said.

That was the strategy as well on Saturday when firefighters lit 200 acres of sawgrass in a counter fire.

“We’re burning the rest of the fuel for the fire today, which should put it out,” said Peterich. Weather conditions also shifted Saturday so it wasn’t as conducive to fire spreading. “Humidity is up a bit; the winds have died down. It’s a good day,” he said.

The National Weather Service lifted a dense smoke advisory at 2 p.m. Saturday. It had been in effect for the Miccosukee Reservation to the west and for communities from Coral Springs to Homestead.