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Firefighters Battle Stubborn Grass Fire In Hialeah

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HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – More than a dozen firefighters from three different agencies battled a stubborn grass and trash fire in western Hialeah Thursday.

The good news for firefighters is this – they said the fire is burning in a deserted area west of I-75 in western Hialeah and the fire is contained and has little chance of spreading.

Gabriel Llamas, Senior Forest Ranger with the Florida Forest Service, estimated that 40 acres of land are burning.

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The fire flared up around 3 p.m. on Thursday, and despite the efforts of the Florida Fire Service and the Hialeah Fire Department to fight the fire from land and air, the fire would not relent.

"I told everyone to back off as far as suppression," Llamas said. "Just let it burn itself out."

More than a dozen Hialeah Fire units along with the Forest Service and Miami-Dade Fire battled the fire but we're told that the rugged terrain and shifting winds posed significant challenges. By nightfall firefighters grew confident that the fire was contained and it did not pose a threat to homes or buildings.

Forestry officials tell us a lot of what's burning here are tires and other trash that got dumped.

"It's a huge trash pile," Llamas said. "It has a lot of railroad ties, hazardous materials like treated wood and like the railroad ties. Old telephone poles. Tires."

Forestry officials aren't sure how the trash got there and how long has it been there.

People who live in the area are concerned about the smoke.

"It's very hard for people with asthma attacks or (allergies) cause sometimes it penetrates inside the homes," said Enrique Martinez.

Firefighters hope that does not happen but they caution that the fire looks like it could burn for a few days and that makes for a challenging situation.

"I'm gonna keep my guys out here as long as I feel that it's a threat," Llamas said. "So it's gonna be a long night for us."

Forestry officials say they are keeping some resources on hand tonight in case the fire does spread. They've got a couple of fire engines and a water tanker on standby.

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