Flames torch trees near train tracks in Pompano Beach, fire officials say

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About 20 firefighters from three departments battled a brush fire in Pompano Beach throughout the day Wednesday, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

Crews began fighting the flames just before noon in the Highlands Scrub Natural Area nature preserve at 4050 North Dixie Highway. The scene had been cleared by late evening.


The flames were in an area near the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.

"When firefighters arrived, they were faced with approximately three acres of brush and scrub on fire in an estimated 25-acre area," said Battalion Chief Michael B. Kane.


The Florida Forestry Service and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue were also working to douse the flames.

“The goal is to allow the fire to continue to burn in a controlled state in order to reduce the fuel load and prevent any acceleration of the fire,” he said. “It is expected that the strong wind from the southeast will diminish into the evening hours which will allow firefighters to safely extinguish the remainder of the fire.”

Broward County Sheriff Fire Rescue crews battle flames as bystanders take pictures of the brush fire at the Highlands Scrub Natural Area.

A number of passers-by stopped to take pictures with their cellphones but they did not appear to be hampering firefighters’ efforts.

“While the cause of [the] fire is unknown, it serves as a reminder that residents should be diligent and mindful when barbecuing, discarding cigarettes or participating in any outdoor activities where there is an open flame,” Kane said. “Extra care should be taken to ensure that any flammable materials are fully extinguished before leaving the area.”

South Florida’s ‘wet season’ typically begins in June, he said, so the drier months preceding summer can increase the threat and intensity of brush fires.

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