Deadline Miami

Everglades wildfire smoke lingers over Miami-Dade, Broward


Two small Miami-Dade wildfires were extinguished by firefighters Thursday, but the huge, now 30,000-acre Everglades fire battled for the past several days is still raging on.

The blaze in the Big Cypress Preserve “way out west in the Everglades’’ cast smoke over Miami-Dade and Broward on Friday as well, as forecast by Florida Forest Service senior forest ranger Gabriel Llamas Thursday evening.

Miami-Dade County spokesman Luis Espinoza of the Division of Environmental Resources Management said the air quality index was expected to be in the moderate range Friday.

“Residents – especially active children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems – should avoid prolonged outdoor exposure,” Espinoza said.

Llamas said the Big Cypress Preserve fire is on the south and north sides of I-75 in Collier County, and was about 13 percent contained as of Thursday.

“They are very limited to the tactics and type of equipment and strategy they can use as far as suppression because of the sensitivity of the wildlife preserve,’’ Llamas said.

As for the two smaller fires near Southwest 184th Street and 137th Avenue, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department spokesman Paul Vitro said his staff assessed the area around 4 p.m

“The fires were out and the crews had vacated,’’ Vitro said.