Broward County

How have the heavy rains in Broward impacted the Everglades wildfire?

Aerial footage of 6,500-acre Florida wildfire

About 25 miles of Interstate 75 along the western end of Alligator Alley were shut down in March 2017 due to a massive Collier County brush fire that forced some Southwest Florida residents to spend the night in shelters.
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About 25 miles of Interstate 75 along the western end of Alligator Alley were shut down in March 2017 due to a massive Collier County brush fire that forced some Southwest Florida residents to spend the night in shelters.

Rain and changing wind patterns have helped quell the massive fire in the Everglades in western Broward.

By Wednesday evening more than 42,000 acres had burned in the area eight miles west of Weston. The fire was 75 percent contained.

“It really is the tail end of the fire,” said Scott Peterich, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service.

Peterich said the fire dubbed #SawgrassFire, which was sparked by lightning Sunday, will likely “creep along” Wednesday night but should be out by Thursday.

The biggest challenges have been the amount of land in the area where the fire is and the constant wind changes, Peterich said.

“When you have a fire like this you basically have to let nature put it out,” he said.

On Tuesday, the fire spread rapidly and even forced a brief closure of nearby Alligator Alley because of the thick smoke.

The storms, however, were a welcome visitor — even though some were heavy and brought lightning, Peterich said.

And since the vegetation was still wet, he did not expect much more spreading.

He said crews were expected to stay out there until 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and return about 9 a.m. Thursday.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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