Florida Firefighters Extinguish Brush Fire

Firefighters extinguished a brush fire that broke out Thursday afternoon near Larry and Penny Thompson State Park in Southwest Miami-Dade County.

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Officials said they are not sure what sparked the fire near Southwest 127th Avenue and Southwest 184th Street, which started at five acres and burned 20 acres before it was put out by crews from the Miami-Dade Fire Department and the Florida Division of Forestry.

"Once we contained the head of the fire, we set up what we call a counter fire to burn off along the fire breaks that are existing in here," said Skip Russell, of the Division of Forestry.

Officials will return to the scene Friday to try to determine the cause of the fire, which did not threaten any homes or structures.

Experts said cold, dry air and a lack of rain are conditions that help start wildfires. Whenever temperatures drop, the cold shocks the trees and dries them out, making them prone to catching fire.

Now that wildfire season has begun, officials ask residents to be cautious outdoors.

"As the year progresses along, right now I think the southern part of the state is the driest in the state. If you don't start getting rain into February, March, April, it will be really dry and we'll start getting a lot more fires," Russell said. "Don't throw your cigarettes out of the car. Use the ashtray. If you pull off on the road, the dry grass will be set really easily with catalytic converters. Just be careful being outdoors. Use common sense."

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