(CNN) — Miami-Dade County officials are warning residents to “anticipate an increase in smoky conditions” from a fire at a waste-to-energy facility in Doral, Florida, that started six days ago.
The fire started last Sunday at the Covanta Energy plant, located on NW 97th Avenue, and has continued to burn in two structures at the facility, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a briefing on Friday.
“Smoky conditions may increase in the area surrounding the plant,” a county situation update said Friday.
The county says Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel are “working tirelessly to put out the fire, including ongoing demolition to create greater access for firefighters to put out the fire. As firefighters gain greater access to the center of the fire, we anticipate an increase in smoky conditions.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urged residents to stay indoors this Friday, according to the county update.
“As a precaution, and according to the recommendations [de la EPA]we urge all residents between NW 74 St and NW 92 St, and NW 92 Ave to NW 112 Ave, to stay indoors today Friday,” the county update said.
Officials warned that “anyone with pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions, as well as older adults, young children, and pregnant women, should take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask if you must be outdoors. Please keep windows closed if you need to drive through the area, and turn on the air conditioning at home to recirculate the air.
“The Doral Glades and Doral Legacy parks will be closed today and all outdoor events in Doral will be rescheduled,” according to the county.
“We are monitoring this to make sure there are no toxic elements,” the county mayor told a briefing.
Concern for air quality in nearby schools
Two schools in the Miami-Dade district sent children home before dismissal time Friday due to air quality concerns.
“Out of an abundance of caution and due to the latest assessment conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, parents of Andrea Castillo Preparatory Academy and Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School have been encouraged to pick up their children from school,” the District said. of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in a written statement.
Schools in the district were already scheduled to be closed Monday for Presidents’ Day, and the statement added: “If there are any changes to next week’s school hours, parents will be notified through the appropriate communication channels. “.
According to Covanta’s website, “the facility is owned by Miami-Dade County and serves county residents with reliable and sustainable waste management.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigated. No injuries have been reported.
— CNN’s Sara Weisfedlt contributed to this report.