Vehicle started wildfire that blocked road to and from Keys

A wildfire that closed both Card Sound Road and the 18-Mile Stretch of U.S. 1 leading in and out of the Keys Monday was fully contained by Tuesday afternoon, according to state emergency management officials.

The fire, which eventually ended up spreading to more than 600 acres, started from a “vehicle incident” on Card Sound Road, according to updates from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. State officials have not offered any specifics regarding the “vehicle incident.”

The blaze was first reported around 2:15 p.m. Monday and was burning about 8 acres of brush on the east side of Card Sound Road in North Key Largo. Firefighters with Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue and the Florida Forest Service responded to the scene.

By 4 p.m., the flames continued to spread and the Florida Highway Patrol closed access to Card Sound Road from both the Miami-Dade and Monroe County sides.

The fire grew to 200 acres, moved west and jumped U.S. 1, said Scott Peterich, a spokesman with the Florida Forest Service. The FHP closed the Stretch from both directions by 5 p.m., but officials determined Card Sound Road was safe for traffic, and it was used to access and exit the Keys.

The FHP reopened the Stretch around 8 p.m.

Peterich said at 5 p.m. on Twitter that the blaze was fully controlled. It burned a total of 618 acres, he said.

During the course of the fire, no one was evacuated from their homes or places of work, but the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in south Miami-Dade County was “notified due to the close proximity of the fire to the plant.”

Monroe County was added to the state’s contact list “for situational awareness.”