Smoke from Cowbell Fire nearing Alligator Alley

Posted at 2:47 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 14:47:07-04

IMMOKALEE, Fla. -- Drivers along Alligator Alley on I-75 in Collier County are reporting heavy smoke nearing the road from nearby wildfires.

These photos were taken Tuesday along Interstate 75, and show heavy smoke plumes and a small fire just off the edge of the roadway.

The fire, burning in Big Cypress National Preserve, is being called the Cowbell Fire.  Fire officials said Monday night that the fire grew in size by about 25% on Monday, to more than 10,000 acres.  The fire is only 5% contained.

Fire officials say weather conditions could push smoke toward I-75 in the area between mile markers 60 and 85.

Further south, smoke for the ongoing Parliament Fire could affect drivers along Tamiami Trail between Turner River Road and the Oasis Visitor Center.

Tuesday, Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida as more than 100 wildfires burn across the state.

The following closures remain in place in Big Cypress National Preserve:

  • Pink Jeep Campground
  • Bear Island Campground
  • Gator Head Campground
  • The road leading into the Sanctuary except to residents
  • All trails between State Road 29 and L-28 Canal including the Florida Trail
  • All public lands west of the L-28 Canal
  • All public lands east of state road 29
  • All public lands south of the preserve boundary
  • All public lands north of Alligator Alley