NewsLocal News

Actions

Rain delays, but doesn't stop, 81,000 acre brush fire

Posted: 7:52 AM, May 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-14 13:13:05Z

UPDATE -- Fire crews are currently battling multiple fires at Big Cypress Forest Preserve, a mix of five fires, that has grown to over 81,000 acres. With the rainy forecast, however, the logistics team was able to take a break from the work.

“As the fire progresses in expanding so does the logistics as far as having the support,” explained Cameron Crisp, an Incident Manager worker from West Virginia. 

Crisp says it’s taken a team to support the estimated 300 firefighters hard at work. A list of the fires and their containment are below: 

  • Buzzard Fire: 61,477 acres, 8% contained
  • Flamingo Fire: 11,640 acres, 5% contained
  • Curlew Fire: 8,339 acres, 15% contained
  • Vulture Fire: 1 acre, 100% contained
  • Caracara Fire: 1 acre, 100% contained

Crisp says the crew has been working hard for the last two weeks and says it's been difficult to stay away from family on holidays like Mother's Day. He say he carries around a small teddy bear his daughter, Autumn, gave him everywhere he goes. 

"It kind of helps me remember home and the folks that you love and leave behind, said Crisp. “Gives me a tie into back home on things that I miss.”

Incident Commander, Charlie Patterson, says the break for his team will only last for a little while. 

“When the conditions change and it drys out then those areas that have heat will produce flames again and start expanding.”

Patterson estimated rainfall was less than an inch, Sunday. He says it will take nearly five to six inches of rainfall to put out the fires altogether. 

"The only thing that is going to put the fires out, is a lot of rain.” 

According to the Incident Team, the fire sits at a total of 81,454 acres and is five percent contained. 

________________________________________________________________________________

A total of 81,454 acres is under fire while only a combined 5% is contained in the Big Cypress National Preserve, according to the Avian Complex.

Below are a list of fires burning and containment levels :

  • Buzzard Fire: 61,477 acres, 8% contained
  • Flamingo Fire: 11,640 acres, 5% contained
  • Curlew Fire: 8,339 acres, 15% contained
  • Vulture Fire: 1 acre, 100% contained
  • Caracara Fire: 1 acre, 100% contained

A smoke advisory was issued Friday night for motorist along Hwy, 41, SR-29 and I-75 between Big Cypress National Preserve and Naples.

We expect smokey conditions to remain all weekend as 48,000 acres r burning in Collier. If you plan on traveling over Alligator Alley, expect delays, fires are impacting portions. Forecasts call for significant rainfall beginning on Sunday. We urge everyone to please be safe. pic.twitter.com/qUIgfkAZ2k

— North Collier Fire (@NCFRPio) May 11, 2018

The following closures are still in effect:

  • Loop Road is closed from Monroe Station to the Everglades Education Center.
  • Dona Drive is closed to all public access.
  • Stairsteps: All lands in Zone 3. Zone 4 is closed to all public access by airboat
  • Paces Dike off-road vehicles (ORVs)
  • Roberts Lake Trail south from Loop Road
  • Lands east of Turner River Rd., west of BICY’s eastern boundary and north of Hwy. 41
  • The Florida National Scenic Trail is closed from the Oasis Visitor Center to I-75 mile marker 63
  • All BICY lands north of I-75 between Hwy. 29 and Bundschu Grade