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8,663 acres burn in Golden Gate fire

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Posted at 2:47 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 12:47:34-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE (5/18)-- The 36th Ave SE Fire remains at 8,663 acres and 50% contained.

There are 149 personnel assigned to this fire.

A structure damage assessment conducted by Greater Naples Fire Rescue resulted in 12 residences and 33 outbuildings destroyed.

As patrol operations continue, residents are likely to witness what’s known as ‘reburn’.

This is when trees that were affected by the fire, but not completely burned, will drop their remaining leaves and needles as they begin their recovery process.

Florida Forest Service held a press conference this morning discuss updates.

They says "even though they have made progress containing the fire, now is not the time to let your guard down".

Forest Services reminded the public to take safety precautions during fire season.

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UPDATE (5/17) --Florida Forest Service says firefighters will continue to create new containment lines along with thorough mop-up operations on the hot spots that continue to smolder and smoke.

The 36th Ave. SE fire remains at 8,663 acres, and 40% contained.

Officials say 146 personnel are assigned to this fire.

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UPDATE (5/16) -- Fire officials will continue increasing and reinforcing fire containment lines and mopping up hot spots Saturday.

Florida Forest Service says the 36th Ave. SW fire remains at 8,663 acres, and 40% contained.

Officials say they expect residents will be returning home since the mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted.

Hear how residents are copping with the wildfire tonight on FOX 4 News at 10 PM.

Florida Florida Service says burn bans are in effect for Hendry, Lee, and Collier counties.

Officials are asking residents to remain vigilant and stay away from fire lines and out of active fire areas.

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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 Tean and Greater Naples Fire Rescue hosted a joint press conference on Friday afternoon.

Hear how a woman barely escaped the flames tonight on FOX 4 News at 10PM.

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.

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.

If you have any information that can help officials, you're asked to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-342-5869.
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Additionally, crews responded to spot fires south of I-75 on the Picayune Strand State Forest.

Currently, the FFS has 16 tractor/plow units from around the state battling the blaze, along with 3 single engine air tankers, 1 fixed wing aircraft, and 4 helicopters, including the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Air Rescue 1, which is assisting with water drops.

A large air tanker out of Lake City is also assisting in the fire fight. Yesterday the air tanker dropped 4 drops and each drop is 3,000 gallons of fire retardant.

Authorities say all mandatory evacuations remain in place at this time.

Evacuations now include East of Collier landfill, horse farms and the mobile home park off Benfield Road.


According to the Florida Forest Service, 8,500 acres burned as of Thursday evening in Collier County.

The fire is located at 36th Avenue Southeast in Golden Gate.

As of 9:00 p.m. , the fire is 10% contained.

The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District has updated evacuations to include these areas:

  • Forest Glen
  • LeBuff Road
  • Benfield Road
  • Stable Way
  • Newman Drive
Evacuation Zones 1
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Collier County Emergency Management says the following shelters are open as well:

Max A. Hasse Community Park
3390 Golden Gate Blvd W.

Golden Gate Community Center
4701 Golden Gate Pkwy.

Emergency Management says if you are outside the evacuation zone but feel you are at risk or have breathing problems, you are free to evacuate voluntarily.