Brush fire burning near U.S. 27 grows to 19,500 acres

Lightning strikes in the area believed to have sparked fire

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A stretch of U.S. Highway 27 that closed because of a large brush fire in South Florida has reopened.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Monday morning that U.S. 27 reopened from Interstate 75 in Broward County to Southern Boulevard in Palm Beach County. The fire started Saturday.

The fire spread across 2,500 acres Monday morning, and has grown to more than 19,500 acres. It is believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike.

No homes were affected, but the fire is burning close to power lines that run power to millions of people.

While the fire still has active flames, officials said rain that passed through Monday did some good to the southeast side of the fire.

Authorities continue to monitor conditions and said the fire has been only 5 percent contained.

Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County has issued a precautionary advisory for elevated levels of air pollutants.

Health officials in Broward County are advising everyone to take precautions from the heavy smoke. Citizens, especially children, the elderly and pregnant women, are advised to stay indoors, as well as those with chronic respiratory ailments, like asthma.

Crews plan to fly over the fire first thing Tuesday morning.

About the Authors: