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More than 8,000 acres burn in Everglades, sending smoke, ash into southern Palm Beach County neighborhoods

Lightning started fire, Florida Forestry Service says
Fire near PBC.PNG
Posted at 10:22 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 08:35:18-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of acres are burning to the west in the Everglades, but many neighbors in southern Palm Beach County saw the impact of the fire for hours Thursday.

Melory Johnson said while walking her dog, the bright evening sky was completely different from hours ago.

"We came outside this morning and all I could smell was fire," she said Thursday. "The sky is a bit hazy and brown this morning. I actually thought it might be rain clouds."

Johnson said she went for a jog Thursday morning and the conditions only got worse and worse.

"So, just running this morning, there was just ashes, falling ash. It wasn't great because every time I inhaled, I was inhaling ash," she said. "I could breathe, but it was enough. I noticed it. You could clearly see I had ash on my shirt I had, as on my cap."

The Florida Forestry Service said there are three fires totaling more than 8,000 acres burning in the Everglades, west of Sawgrass Expressway.

The fire started Wednesday from lightning and firefighters were monitoring the flames from the air and on the ground.

Sal Damico said he and his wife noticed a heavy fog this morning.

"A lot of fog, very foggy," he said. "We live on a lake, so behind the lake was all foggy."

Living in Florida for more than 20 years, he's taking this in stride.

"It's not that uncommon," he said.

The Florida Forestry Service said it is monitoring those winds for any shift. The flames are in a remote area, far from any homes.