As Democrats Prep for Debate in Florida, a 17,000-Acre Fire Burns in the Everglades

Trump drained the swamp so good it dried out and caught fire.

Wildfires burned in the Florida Everglades in 2007. Now there's another wildfire in the Everglades, right before the Democratic debates.Marc Serota/Getty

This story was originally published by Grist and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On Wednesday, the first Democratic debate will take place in Miami, Florida. The candidates will engage in what is sure to be a heated conversation about issues ranging from gun control to abortion rights. As all eyes turn to Miami, another fiery event is developing nearby.

Seventeen thousand acres and counting of public lands are aflame in the Florida Everglades, thanks to a brush fire sparked by an errant lightning bolt on Sunday night. Smoke from the fire has floated over the cities of Coral Springs and Parkland, prompting officials to send out advisories warning residents to stay inside.

According to the region’s Local 10 news, no firefighting crews have been called to combat the flames as of Monday afternoon; officials said they’re monitoring how the fire moves over the next eight to 10 hours. So far, none of the blaze has been contained. Rain is not in the forecast until Wednesday.

Florida isn’t the only state in the U.S. dealing with the fiery fallout of mismanaged forests and rising temperatures. Last week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced plans to outfit five community buildings in her city to help residents deal with the impending smoke season. And California is facing an increased risk of wildfires this summer thanks to a wet winter that helped spawn new brush (aka kindling, once hot weather dries the brush out).

The average wildfire season is 78 days longer than it was in 1970, a side effect of climate change that should surely be a topic of conversation at the Democratic debates. Alas, the Democratic National Convention announced this month that it will not be hosting a climate-themed debate—a request made by various climate activist groups and presidential hopeful Jay Inslee. Maybe the smoke from the fire in the Everglades will convince the committee to change its mind.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate