79ºF

Big Melaleuca East Fire in southwest Miami-Dade now 90 percent contained

Fire burns 25 acres, authorities say


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Big Melaleuca East Fire in southwest Miami-Dade is now 90 percent contained, Florida Forest Service spokesman Scott Peterich said Wednesday.

The fire is burning in the area of Southwest 167th Avenue, between 56th and 57th streets.

Firefighters made a line around the fire to contain it, which they say has been working so far.

Sky 10 was overhead Wednesday morning as the fire was still burning, billowing thick smoke in certain spots.

According to the Florida Forest Service, crews have been battling the fire since about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The fire burned about 12 acres by Wednesday morning and then spread to 25 acres by Wednesday afternoon as crews continued to work to extinguish it.

Authorities said the breezy weather has definitely given first responders something else to deal with.

By about 2:34 p.m., the fire had inched closer to the highway and just about 20 feet from nearby homes, so Miami-Dade firefighters had to come out and help the Florida Forest Service knock it back.

Sky 10 was above the area as both agencies dumped water over the fire, which was spewing ash and some embers across the roadway, scaring some neighbors.

"Earlier when I left there was nobody here, so I was a little bit scared and I'm like, 'What's going on?'" Maria Rangel said. "There's nothing on the news, nobody has reached out to us. But now seeing them makes me feel a lot better."

"It's crazy," another neighbor, Irina Cavero, said. "I would have never thought that this would happen. It's a show."

Firefighters have closed down Southwest 167th Avenue for about two blocks because they have hoses across the roadways.


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