Wildfire relief could come naturally on Saturday as rain could extinguish some of the more than 20,000 acres of the Everglades that burned in Broward and Palm Beach counties due to three wildfires last week, according to forecasters.
The chance of rain and humidity, which precedes the approach of a cold front, means that the three burning wildfires – Fire 2 Bravo in Broward and Fire 2 Alpha and L39 in Palm Beach – could not spread much on Saturday.
“We expect rain between the late morning hours and the evening hours [Saturday] so that might help mitigate some of these fires,” National Weather Service meteorologist George Rizzuto said.
“It’s also possible that it won’t put them out completely if we don’t get enough rain. But there’s rain on the way, and it’s possible it’s starting to put out some of that fire activity.
All three fires were started by lightning on Wednesday afternoon.
By Saturday morning, the 2 Bravo Fire had burned 6,050 acres and was 30% contained according to David Rosenbaum, public information officer and mitigation specialist for the Florida Forest Service’s Everglades District.
The 2 Alpha fire had burned 5,050 acres and was 45% contained, Rosenbaum said.
The L39 fire had burned 11,500 acres and was 35% contained, Rosenbaum said.
Broward and Palm Beach counties are at marginal risk of severe weather as the approaching cold front begins to infiltrate the region.
Florida Fire Department Rangers are at Fire 2 Bravo, and Rangers are expected at Fire 2 Alpha and L39 later Saturday.
The cold front could feature winds that disperse some of the smoke and ash that has bothered residents of Palm Beach and Broward in recent days.
The rain line will move from northwest to southeast.
“We’re going to start seeing the northern areas of our forecast areas start raining first,” Rizzuto said, “and towards the end of the afternoon we’ll see some of the southern areas like the Miami area.”
Winds could push fires back into areas that have already burned, helping to prevent fires from spreading. There’s not much threat of flooding as the storms are expected to move quickly, Rizzuto said. There could be isolated pockets of strong storms.
But at best, the rain is starting to put out some of the fires.
“That’s one thing we’re looking for with rain shower activity with this advancing front,” Rosenbaum said.