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Massive fire near RSW burns more than 3500 cars could take months to investigate

Massive fire near RSW
Posted at 11:47 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 23:47:29-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Thousands of cars charred and land burned in a massive fire out near RSW airport.

Experts from the Caloosahatchee Forestry Center say there is still a long road ahead to finding out what caused it.

“100 percent containment does not mean the fire is 100 percent out, once we call a fire controlled that means that its dead out, but until then we will continue to monitor it, “ said Ryan Mason of the Florida Forest Service.

The flames destroyed nearly 15 acres of land in an overflow rental car lot.

More than 3500 rental cars in this lot are damaged or destroyed.

“It is hard to say that nothing will reflame due to the nature of forest fires, however at this point, we just have multiple interior hotspots we are just trying to rework and cool down with water, ” said Ryan Mason.

Hot, dry and windy weather create the perfect conditions for wildfires.

While we're waiting for the complete investigation, criminal investigator Walt Zalisko says this fire may have been the result of a simple mistake.

“They could have moved a car whose undercarriage was still warm and that would have ignited the grass, or one of these car shuttlers could have left the engine running. When you are moving hundreds of cars you are bound to make a mistake, ” said Zalisko.

Local fire departments are now working in unison with state officials to determine the cause of the fire.

“They are going to look into the possibility of a deliberate act or a careless act, they got involved because of the magnitude of this problem,” said Walt Zalisko.

As this case is now within the hands of the State Fire Marshal it could take several months to get answers into what exactly caused this fire.