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8,663 acres burned in Golden Gate fire; 40% contained; 7 homes destroyed

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 18:17:34-04

GOLDEN GATE, Fla. — UPDATE (5PM)-- The 36th Avenue SE fire in Golden Gate continues to burn. Officials say it has burned 8,663 acres and 40% contained.

The Florida Forest Service Green Incident Management Team and Greater Naples Fire Rescue hosted a joint press conference on Friday afternoon.

Greater Naples Fire Rescue says seven homes have been lost and 23 outparcels (barns, storage sheds, etc.) have been destroyed since the
first started on Wednesday evening.

Officials say they are still assessing damage and that process is halfway complete.

Greater Naples Fire Chief Kingman Schuldt says officials are working with the Red Cross to help families that have been impacted.

You can find evacuation and shelter information here.

Florida Forest Service Green Incident Management Commander John Kern said rain the area saw Friday helps, but does not eliminate fire risk.

"One day of rain does not affect the deep soil here that can burn in Florida, and also those larger logs and things like that. Those are still available to burn, so there's still a danger out there of fires smoldering
throughout today and tomorrow and then building back into new fires."

Chief Schuldt says the fire district is grateful for the community's donations, but asks that donors frequently check Greater Naples Fire Rescue social media pages for instructions
on where to deliver supplies.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.