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Officials: South Miami-Dade grass fire that prompted hours-long closure of Turnpike is 90% contained

<i>WSVN via CNN Newsource</i><br/>The South Miami-Dade grass fire that prompted a hours-long closure of the Florida Turnpike is 90% contained.
WSVN via CNN Newsource
The South Miami-Dade grass fire that prompted a hours-long closure of the Florida Turnpike is 90% contained.


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    MIAMI, Florida (WSVN) — Crews have gotten the upper hand on a grass fire in South Miami-Dade that led to the hours-long closure of the Florida Turnpike during rush hour.

More than 15 Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units responded to the area of Southwest 112th Avenue and 256th Street, just after 4 p.m., Wednesday.

Officials shut down the Turnpike in both directions at 248th Street.

Miami-Dade Police officers diverted traffic during rush hour onto Southwest 112th Avenue.

Officials said the fire has burned approximately 20 acres. As of 9 p.m., it is 90% contained, according to the Florida Forest Service.

The crew that initially arrived began a fire attack to knock down the fire in order to prevent the flames from reaching the roadway or homes in the area, officials said.

Helicopters were seen dumping buckets of water on top of various hotspots, as thick black smoke billowed into the sky.

Drivers in South Miami-Dade said the fire caused a major headache for them.

“It was closer to home than we really wanted,” said area resident Bernise Velez Martinez. “As soon as we walked into the house, we came to the backyard, and there was flames all over the place.”

Martinez said her main concern was that the fire would spread from the grassy area into her backyard.

“Fire is not judgmental. It can skip, you know, from one place to another, and I was just fearing that it might just skip over to this backyard,” said Velez Martinez.

Video shared by Velez Martinez shows crews working to put out the flames. Firefighters captured water from the lake behind her house.

“And transported it to the site, yes,” said Martinez.

As the helicopter picked up the water from the lake, Velez Martinez sad her dog Parker was busy barking at them.

At around 6:40 p.m., traffic cameras captured traffic flowing again on the Turnpike.

MDFR units remained at the scene, as they continued to work with the Florida Fire Service to contain the fire.

7News cameras captured fire crew battling the blaze as it took over a tree.

Officials said most of the fire has been contained on the east side, as firefighters turned their focus on the flames on the west side.

Crews are monitoring changes in visibility due to smoky conditions.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

“I am so proud of the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue. I mean, they are the best. You can see the hard work and, uh, troopers,” said Velez Martinez.

Officials advise area residents to remain indoors with their windows and doors closed and with their air conditioning recirculating.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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