Firefighters keep close eye on hot spots after Palm Beach Gardens brush fire

Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 04:13:12-05

Firefighters continue working Monday to extinguish hot spots at a brush fire that occurred Sunday in Palm Beach Gardens.

Kyoto Gardens Drive was closed for a time Monday afternoon between Military Trail and Alternate A1A after a hot spot flared up.

It has since been extinguished.

The Florida Forest Service helped to extinguish the flames.  

Firefighters suspect high winds may have carried embers from Sunday's brush fire to the north side of Kyoto Gardens.

After two days of heaving smoke, Patrick Meehan from the Garden Lakes neighborhood is trying to stay indoors. 

"Making sure that the door is sealed properly so that the smoke doesn't get inside," said Meehan. "It [smoke] was very very heavy all day yesterday and last night." 

But on Monday the Winchester Courts neighborhood also had a scare when the fire jumped Kyoto Gardens Drive and sparked a brush fire on the north side. 

"You saw the flames in the trees and a lot of smoke," said Danielle Cameron. "It as the closest, once it jumped over it was close." 

The two acre was contained. Firefighters say they are still facing challenges to completely put out the fires. 

"Gaining access, plus a lot of wind is still kicking up some of the embers," said Shon Broedell, Deputy Chief of Operations and Public Information Officer for Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue. 

Cameron says the brush fire has definitely made homeowners in the area think about the worst case scenarios. 


"We prepare for hurricanes, but we don't necessarily prepare for fires." 

The flare up also reignited fear for Peter Bonacci who saw flames and smoke from his Winchester Courts neighborhood.

“I’m just getting ready to get my grandma out if need be. I don’t know if they’re going to evacuate us. We’re just kind of waiting on the word."

Because of the smoky conditions, the Florida Department of Health urges people sensitive to smoke, or anyone with respiratory and heart issues, to limit their outdoor activities.

It suggests they stay indoors and run the air conditioner. However, If you don't have an air conditioner, seek alternative shelter because closing the windows without one could be dangerous in hot weather.

Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue contained the fire Sunday but said areas of brush could smolder for days.

Firefighters stayed on scene overnight and have been keeping a close eye on the 80 acres Monday and through the week. Their goal is to extinguish hot spots before they grow big enough to re-ignite the fire.

Firefighters said wind is their biggest challenge Monday. A gust can easily blow a hot ember to drier areas and spark a new fire.

Investigators have not identified what caused the fire.

A deputy fire chief said there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent fires: 

  • Don’t throw cigarettes outside 
  • Don’t park your car on tall, dry grass
  • Be conscious about your surroundings while riding an ATV or using a lawnmower 


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