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Rain Lends Relief In West Miami-Dade Brush Fire

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A West Miami-Dade brush fire that began burning three days ago is now three quarters of the way contained, thanks in part to Tuesday's rain.

"There's thousands of little hot spots out there that have to have water put on them and if we don't get rain, that's what we do.  We put water on them.  And when we do get rain, some of the minor hot spots, they'll just go out," said Florida Forest Service public information officer Scott Peterich.

Click here to watch Oralia Ortega's report. 

Florida Forest Service crews are concentrating their efforts on mopping up hot spots on the south side of SW 8th street near Krome Avenue.

With an immigration facility and the Everglades Correctional Institution nearby, there's the chance a fire flareup could disrupt operations.

"There's two major facilities.  In case there was an easterly wind, we want to make sure that those were protected," said Peterich.

The brush fire started burning Sunday afternoon off SW 162nd Avenue and 42nd Street and quickly spread to 2,100 acres by Tuesday afternoon.

The fire forced on-and-off road closures on SW 8th street and Bird Road, the evacuation of Lincoln-Marti Child Care Center, and sent both employees and patrons scrambling at The Pit Bar-B-Q, as the fire and smoke got dangerously close.  The restaurant has been reopened and the owners are thankful to both Forest Service crews and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for saving their place.

"You can see the fire surrounding the property," said The Pit Bar-B-Q owner Michael Gonzalez as he showed CBS4 News a picture of how close the fire got to his restaurant.  "So the water that they were spraying on the property made all the difference in the world."

People who live in the area noticed the difference one day makes.

"It was crazy.  The fire was huge, like covering everything," said nearby resident Emma Quero.  "Today's gotten a lot better so thank God, the fire was put out already and it rained finally."

Although much progress has been made, there's more work to be done Wednesday.

According to Florida Forest Service, the fire is 75% contained and has burned 2,100 acres.


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