4 In Your Corner goes behind the fire line at Picayune Strand Forest

Posted at 11:35 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 06:39:02-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Fire officials in Collier County described Wednesday as an "eerie calm," compared to the previous three days at the Picayune Strand Forest. 

"There really wasn't much fire activity last night and that continued into this morning," Melissa Yunas, a wildlife mitigation specialist with the Florida Forest Service, said. 

Yunas took Four in Your Corner on a ride along Wednesday to give you an up close look at the fire's power and the damage it's left behind. 

Even though conditions in the area seem to be improving, Yunas said it's too early to breathe a sigh of relief.  "This is the beginning of a dry year," she said. "Next year is going to be another compounded dry year, so fire activity can increase."

More than a hundred fire officials -- local, state, and federal -- are battling the flames, using 26 bulldozers to remove the vegetation, leaving only dirt behind to stop the fire in its tracks. 

"Today's the first day we actually have been able to create some incredible lines with the bulldozers that the fire has actually been holding at," Yunas said. 

Once the fire is 100% contained, investigators will work toward determining a cause. 

"We do believe it's human caused, whether it's accidental or intentional," Yunas said.