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Collier fires growing, neighbors left with ashes

Posted at 1:08 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 10:30:02-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla., -- For the past week, neighbors say they wake up to a smoke like-fog and ashes covering their cars. With only one fire 100 percent contained, two more are still growing, according to officials. 

"Everybody is scared about that because this is fire. Because we don’t know what [could] happen,” said Jonas, who lives near Greenway Rd. 

The Greenway fire surpassed 6,000 acres, Sunday, nearly doubling overnight. It is one of three Collier County fires that were started by lightning, officials say. The Greenway fire is 25 percent contained. While, the fire on 116th Avenue is at 8,000 acres and 45 percent contained. 

The Flag Pond Fire near I-75 is 100 percent contained. 

As flames blaze, neighbors say that hasn't been their biggest problem. 

“It smells like when people are smoking for real," said one neighbor. 

It's the smoke causing neighbors to get sick. Including one neighbor saying her friend with asthma has been to the hospital four times this week just because of the smoke. 

Forty-five-year firefighter veteran, John McMahon, says it's the dry conditions and wind that make it difficult to contain the fires. 

“Mother Nature is in control. Fire Dynamics is in control and we have to work around that," said McMahon. "If it’s 40 mile an hour winds, it’s going to make that fire very difficult.” 

Officials say unless asked to evacuate, surrounding neighbors are encouraged to stay inside as much as possible and turn on the air conditioning. 

Fox 4 will keep you posted with all the latest news both on-air and online as we learn more on how best to keep you safe.