COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- A fire burning in the Big Cypress National Preserve known as the Cowbell Fire has grown significantly over the weekend.
Preserve officials says the fire, which was estimated to be around 600 acres early Sunday, has since grown to approximately 8,335 acres.
All campgrounds in the Bear Island area are being evacuated as fire crews reassess possible containment lines.
Florida Highway Patrol warns drivers on Alligator Alley to use caution between mile markers #56 and #80, as smoke from the fire could affect visibility.
The following closures remain in place in Big Cypress National Preserve:
• Pink Jeep Campground
• Bear Island Campground
• Gator Head Campground
• The road leading into the Sanctuary except to residents
• All trails between state road 29 and L-28 Canal including the Florida Trail
• All public lands west of the L-28 Canal
• All public lands east of state road 29
• All public lands south of the Preserve boundary
• All public lands north of Alligator Alley