Smoky brush fire closes Brooker Creek Preserve

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Brooker Creek Preserve remains closed due to a brush fire today, while smoke from the blaze is wafting across the bay.

The odor of smoke was noticeable to many in Tampa this morning. The Division of Forestry says the fire grew to 20 acres overnight, but is 70% contained. It’s smoldering in a hard-to-reach swampy area, and the dead organic material fueling the flames tends to give off a lot of smoke, a spokesperson explained.

The 8,700-acre preserve was closed Monday once flames began impacting the trail system, according to officials. No structures are threatened and no injuries have been reported.

Forestry crews and local firefighters expect to be on scene all day Tuesday.

The brush fire threat is high due to the lack of rain this time of year. The threat will diminish when the rainy season picks up in a few weeks.