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Voluntary evacuations requested due to extreme fire behavior east of Naples

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 08:05:43-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Multiple wildfires were burning across Southwest Florida Thursday. Fire crews are battling at least seven working fires in Lee, Hendry and Collier Counties.

The two biggest fires are both in Collier. The West Boundary Fire, in the eastern part of the county, was at about 900 acres and 65% contained as of Friday morning. The Flag Pond Fire, in the Picayune Strand State Forest, was estimated at 1,500 acres and 20% contained. 

Voluntary evacuations are effect for homes on Snake Road and Lee WIlliams Road in Picayune Strand. Fire trucks are standing by on those properties, ready to defend the homes if threatened by the Flag Pond Fire.

Florida Forest Service crews from the Jacksonville area have come down to assist local firefighters.

"So we can quickly contain these fires, so they don't have any impact to residents or structures," said Samantha Quinn, a spokeswoman for the Florida Forest Service.

She said with Thursday high winds, smoke could be a problem for anyone near the fires.

Quinn said residents living in wooded areas should always be prepared to evacuate for wildfires, keeping important documents, medications and other essential items ready to grab in case the worst happens.