Fires and heavy smoke cause evacuations and road closures near Naples

Roads closed and evacuations ordered in the area
Posted at 7:10 AM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 23:25:42-05

NAPLES, Fla. -- A heavy smoke advisory is now in effect for Collier County, while a massive wildfire burns. The fire is 30% contained and covers 6,000 acres.

Our Breaking News Tracker live crew has been up all night monitoring the latest conditions and even getting an up close look at the fire burning.

According to Caloosahatchee Forestry Center, the Lee Williams Road fire in Picayune Strand is now 6,000 acres and 30% contained as of 3pm Tuesday, with crews working overnight to keep it from homes and away from roads.

MORE: I-75 closed near Naples due to smoke from fire

No structures were lost Monday and no injuries were reported.  A mandatory evacuation of the area east of Collier Boulevard and south of Beck Boulevard has been ordered Tuesday.

The fire is burning through the woods east of Collier Boulevard, covering the area with thick smoke, ashes, and embers.

MORE: Photos of Tuesday's fire near Naples

The fires had forced authorities to close Collier Boulevard between I-75 and Tamiami Trail on Monday afternoon, but the road was reopened early Tuesday morning.  Late Tuesday morning, authorities closed Collier Boulevard again, betweek Davis Boulevard and Rattlesnake Hammock Road.

The boundaries of the affected area are Beck Boulevard to the north, Sabal Palm Road to the south, Picayune State Park to the east and Collier Boulevard to the west.

The Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services has opened an Emergency Hotline at (239) 252-8444 or 311 (Collier County only).  The hotline will be open until further notice.

Collier County Schools is closely monitoring the situation and will make any school closure decisions by 6 a.m. Wednesday.  Parents will be notified of any changes by phone, text, email, and social media channels.




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