Massive Broward Brush Fire Tears Through 5,500 Acres

Firefighters contained more than half of the massive brush fire that ripped through 5,500 acres in westen Broward County Saturday morning.

The fire crews continued their efforts Saturday to clear vegetation in the path of the fire that could potentially add fuel to the flames.

“Now that the humidity has gone up and the winds died down they’re trying to burn out as much as they possibly can,” said Florida Forest Service spokesman Scott Peterich.

Crews are setting these “back fires” in order for the blaze to burn itself out.

The immense fire ignited Wednesday near U.S. 27 on the western edge of Pembroke Pines and consumed nearly 3,500 acres in about half a day.

The fire threatened Everglades Holiday Park on Thursday, forcing evacuations. Mack’s Fish Camp in Northwest Miami-Dade was also evacuated Friday and 20 structures at the fish camp were threatened by the fire, Peterich said.

But the blaze is not just a concern for firefighters. Children in Miami-Dade and Broward have reported having trouble breathing because of all the smoke.

Fire officials responded to Bel-Aire Elementary School in Cutler Bay, about 20 miles south of Miami Beach, after reports that several students started choking and coughing during a Physical Education class. Gym classes were canceled for the day, and students were kept inside.

“Residents with any respiratory problems may want to be extra careful in the evening hours,” Peterich said.

The National Weather Service cancelled the Dense Smoke Advisory for Broward and Miami-Dade that was issued late Friday evening extending into Saturday.