PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Wildfires burning in a heavily grassy area near the Palm Beach and Broward County line, coupled with winds from the west, brought ash to west Boca Raton on Thursday.
A WPTV viewer shared photos of a light dusting of ash covering cars in the area of State Road 7 and Glades Road.
Students at Loggers Run Middle School and West Boca Raton Community High School, which are both west of State Road 7, both reported seeing a very smoky sky toward the west.
The Florida Forest Service said three separate fires, which were sparked by lightning strikes on Wednesday, have burned more than 7,100 acres, west of Coral Springs and just south of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.
The smoke was so thick, it could be seen as far east as Interstate 95 and Yamato Road in Boca Raton.
Remarkable view from Yamato Rd and 1-95 of smoke from brush fires miles away west of Boca Raton pic.twitter.com/DuXYRBSgQJ— Matt Sczesny WPTV (@WPTVMatt) May 5, 2022
WPTV First Alert Meteorologist James Wieland said the winds shifted southwest overnight Thursday and blew smoke and ash from the fires into parts of southern Palm Beach County.
However, Wieland said that around 10 a.m. Thursday, the winds switched again and are now coming out of the northeast, which is pushing the smoke out of our area.
3 fires burning, about 1400 acres of grassy land,most likely due to lightning strikes.The winds shifted southwest overnight and blew the smoke over parts of southern Palm Beach Co. Residents reported strong smoke smell & even ashes falling from the sky. #florida #fire #wildfire pic.twitter.com/gbTJ3TXLQQ— James Wieland 🏄🏻♂️ (@SurfnWeatherman) May 5, 2022
Wieland added the winds will once again shift to the southwest Thursday night and may stay that way through 12 p.m. Friday, so we should expect smoky conditions again in southern Palm Beach County on Friday morning.