Crews in Collier tackle fire from the sky

Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-23 15:07:39-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla- Residents at Club Naples RV Resort watch in awe as emergency crews fight flames from the sky. On Friday, Governor Rick Scott announced the Florida National Guard was deployed to help fire efforts including extra air support.  

"We sat out here 3 hours last night watching them," said RV resort resident Fran Halley. 

Saturday afternoon, about a dozen residents from the RV resort sat on their golf carts near the park entrance watching helicopters and airplanes circle the sky just across I-75. 

"We're concerned about the 7,000 people that were evacuated over there that was us March 7th," said RV resident Nancy Vanderploeg.

While the group is outside of the evacuation zone, fire crews are still asking residents in mandatory evacuation zones to listen to the warnings and get out. Crews said it's impossible to perform necessary water drops from the air when residents are outside and too close to the fire. 

"The airplanes of course they carry more water and are more precise," said one Golden Gate firefighter. 

State officials stressed at a press conference Saturday afternoon their goal is to use all the resources available to fight fires and protect homes instead of rescuing residents who refused to leave. 

"What happens is the onlookers, the owners, the occupants become victims themselves, and when we cannot deal with the fire we are dealing with those things and it takes away from the main mission to put out the fires," said Naples Fire Chief    .