For the second straight night, firefighters worked around the clock to keep tabs on a brush fire in Palm Beach Gardens.
More than 60 acres continue to smolder along Kyoto Gardens Drive near Alternate A1A.
The fire first sparked Sunday afternoon, creating smoke so thick that the Florida Highway Patrol had to shut down Interstate 95 for several hours.
Since firefighters contained the fire Sunday, they have maintained a presence at the scene to extinguish any flames that reignite.
The deputy fire chief said the underbrush in the wooded area that burned can smolder for days. Hot spots tend to flare when the wind blows, giving oxygen to the fire.
On Monday, an ember jumped to the north side of Kyoto Gardens Drive and sparked a new fire in an area that did not burn Sunday. Firefighters extinguished that two-acre fire quickly.
Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue said no structures have suffered any damage as a result of this fire. Although residents have seen and smelled smoke in the area.
“I’m making sure that the door is sealed properly so that the smoke doesn’t get inside,” said resident Patrick Meehan.
Firefighters expect to circle the smoldering area for several days to stop hot spots from spreading.
Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Capt. Dave Markle said firefighters are rotating shifts to soak areas that may spark up again, like tree trunks and underbrush.
He took NewsChannel 5 on a ride through the middle of the brush fire’s location to show how many hot spots exist.
Markle said the fire department is in constant contact with the emergency operations center to get information on winds.
If firefighters can hit hot spots with water in the morning, they can reduce the impact winds have on spreading the fire when they pick up in the afternoon.
“This is the most important part of the day to try to eliminate some of these hazards, so that when the winds do pick up at about 1 p.m. we have something that is at our advantage, we’ve already been wetting down all the hot spots,” Markle pointed out.
In another effort to soak hot spots, the fire department used a ladder truck to spray water on the northern edge of this brush fire. The deptuy chief called it “creating their own rain.”
He said the department needs a solid downpour before the risk of this fire reigniting is totally eliminated.