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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Secondary Trail Closure

    Effective 8/1/2014, following the 60-day recreational ORV closure, only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open to recreational ORV use and access. All secondary trails will remain closed on an interim basis for an additional 60-days More »

2011 Jarhead Fire

Jarhead Fire

The Jarhead Fire is 100% contained as of 5/23/2011.

May 18, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Fire Facts: Location: Center of Big Cypress National Preserve; Date started: 04/26/2011; Size: approximately 38,130 acres; Estimated Containment Date: 5/23/2011; Percent Contained: 95%; Injuries to Date: two (minor); Cause: lightning; Number of Personnel: 43; Aircraft: 1 Heavy (Type 1) and 1 Light (Type 3) helicopters; Equipment: 1 engine, 1 fire swamp buggy

Current Activity: Crews will continue to patrol, monitor, and mop up on the entire Jarhead Fire perimeter as needed. As dry, windy conditions persist over the fire area, crews remain vigilant in ensuring that the fireline is secure. The estimated containment date has been moved to Monday, May 23, 2011. This is to ensure that the firelines remain secure with the current weather forecast calling for dry, windy conditions through the upcoming weekend.

Closures/Advisories: Due to fire suppression activities relating to the Jarhead Fire, the Preserve is closed west of Oasis Visitor Center to Turner River Road, south of I-75 and north of U.S. 41. This closure includes the Florida National Scenic Trail within the area and the Oasis ORV access.

The areas identified within the "Jarhead Fire closure area" will be included in the annual 60-day recreational Off-Road Vehicle closure the National Park Service is implementing from 12:01 a.m., Monday, May 23, 2011 through 11:59 p.m., Thursday, July 21, 2011. Recreational access will resume on Friday, July 22, 2011. This closure relates to those areas of the Preserve that allow for ATV, swamp buggies and street legal 4x4s.

Landowners, and their guests, that hold special use permits to access private properties within the Preserve will retain continued access to property along approved routes.

Find a complete up-date here.
For more on the annual 60 day recreational ORV closure go here.

Click here to see a progression map of the fire.
The current closure notice remains in effect until further notice; however, please see the closure modification below for details regarding landowner access.
Find additional information and photos at Inciweb and the NPS main fire page.

May 15, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Fire Facts - Location: Center of Big Cypress National Preserve; Date started: 04/26/2011; Size: 38,130 acres (as of 1700 5/14/11); Estimated Containment Date: 5/18/2011; Percent Contained: 95%; Injuries to Date: two (minor); Cause: lightning; Aircraft: 3 helicopters; Number of Personnel: 86; Equipment: 4 fire swamp buggies, 3 engines; Crews : one 20-person hotshot crew

Today's activity - Crews will continue to patrol, monitor, and mop up on the entire Jarhead Fire perimeter as needed. The demobilization process continues on the Jarhead Fire. As equipment and resources are no longer needed, they will be released from the incident to return to their home units or be reassigned to other fires in the country.

Find a complete update here.

May 14, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Today's Activity - The Fire Management staff at Big Cypress assumed responsibility for managing the Jarhead Fire on Friday afternoon. The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team that had been managing the Jarhead Fire was demobilized from the fire on Friday to return back to the Southwest to be available for on-going fires in that region.

"The Southwest IMT [Incident Management Team] left the fire in good hands", said Incident Commander John Nobles, "We have plenty of firefighters and resources available to continue to our containment of the Jarhead Fire." Nobles added, "We also are ready to respond to any new fires that may be started from the lightning expected this weekend".

Crews will continue to patrol, monitor, and mop up on the entire Jarhead Fire perimeter as needed.

As equipment and resources are no longer needed on the Jarhead Fire, they will be released from the incident to return back to their home units or be reassigned to other fires in the country.

Find a complete update here.
Click here to see a progression map of the fire.

May 13, 2011 Closure Modification
As of Saturday, May 14, 2011 landowners, and their properly permitted guests, will be allowed to enter the established closure area for the purpose of accessing their private property along designated trails. Travel should be during daylight hours only, from 7:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m.

The closure remains in place to those permitted ORV visitors seeking recreational access.

Landowners, and their guests, will need to present their Access Special Use Permit upon entering. For safety reasons, security personnel will be assigned to the Oasis, Monroe North, Concho Billie and Windmill Tram access gates and will issue backcountry permits to landowners entering the closed area associated with the fire.

Those landowners wanting to access the closed area at Skillet North, Burns Lake or Turner River North should make arrangements by calling 239-695-1205.

All gates providing access to the closed area have been equipped with new lock combinations. Fire security personnel will provide access through the gates between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Landowners requiring access outside of these hours may contact Everglades Dispatch at 800-788-0511 to arrange for a fire security officer to open gates.

Landowners should exercise due care while traveling in the Preserve or working on their property. We are currently experiencing red flag conditions which are predicted to continue into next week. Thunderstorms are also forecasted over the next several days. These bring the possibility of new lightning caused fires and strong winds to spread them.

It is recommended that, in addition to assessing the current condition of properties, landowners may take advantage of this opportunity to conduct efforts to reduce fuels on their private property to make them "fire safe". For more information go to - http://www.fl-dof.com/wildfire/firewise_your_home.html

Due to current red flag fire conditions, the Florida Division of Forestry will not issue burn permits at this time.

For more information and questions please contact 239-695-1117 or 1205 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

May 13, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Fire Facts: Location: Center of Big Cypress National Preserve; Date started: 04/26/2011; Size: approximately 38,130 acres (as of 1700 5/12/11); Estimated Containment Date: 5/18/2011; Percent Contained: 95%; Injuries to Date: two (minor); Cause: lightning; Aircraft: 1 type 1, 1 type 2, and 1 type 3 helicopters; Number of Personnel: 222; Equipment: 10 fire swamp buggies, 9 engines; Crews: 1 type 1

Today's Activity: Patrol, monitor, and mop up operations will continue on the entire Jarhead Fire perimeter as needed. Yesterday at approximately 5 PM firefighters responded to two new lightning caused fires west of the Jarhead fire, on the Big Cypress National Preserve. Firefighters, engines, and helicopters with buckets aggressively attacked these fires until late evening. The 120 acre Birdon Fire is contained, and patrol and mop up will continue today. The 110 acre Copeland Fire will be fully contained today.

All resources that are no longer needed are being released to their home units or to assignments on other fires. Management of the Jarhead Fire will be turned back to the Big Cypress National Preserve at 3:00 PM today.

Find a complete update here.
Click here to see a progression map of the fire.


May 12, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Fire Facts: Location: Center of Big Cypress National Preserve; Date started: 04/26/2011; Size: approximately 38,130 acres (as of 1700 5/11/11); Estimated Containment Date: 5/18/2011; Percent Contained: 85%; Injuries to Date: two (minor); Cause: lightning; Aircraft: 2 type 1, 1 type 2, and 2 type 3 helicopters; Number of Personnel: 282; Equipment: 10 fire swamp buggies, 11 engines; Crews: 1 type 1

Today's Activity: Some smoke may be visible along U. S. 41 in the vicinity of the fire until mid-morning. Crews will monitor interior burning fuels, and mop up along containment lines on the northwest flank. Patrol, monitor, and mop up operations will continue on the remainder of the fire perimeter as needed.

Resources that are no longer needed continue to be released to their home units or to assignments on other fires. Management of the Jarhead Fire will be turned back to the Big Cypress National Preserve at 3:00 PM on Friday, May 13.

Please be aware of and observe area closures in effect due to aerial and firefighting operations. Drivers on U.S. 41 and I-75 should exercise extreme caution due to smoke and fire vehicle traffic.

Find a complete update here.

May 11, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Fire Facts: Location: Center of Big Cypress National Preserve; Date started: 04/26/2011; Size: approximately 36,350 acres (as of 1800 5/10/11); Estimated Containment Date: 5/18/2011; Percent Contained: 70%; Injuries to Date: two (minor); Cause: lightning; Aircraft: 4 type 1, 1 type 2, and 2 type 3 helicopters; Number of Personnel: 317; Equipment: 10 fire swamp buggies, 14 engines; Crews: 3 type 1, 1 type 2 Initial Attack

Today's Activity: Crews will hold and improve indirect control lines on the northwest flank, and burn out interior areas of unburned fuel. Helicopter bucket drops will be utilized to cool off any hotspots on the fire's edge. Patrol, monitor, and mop up operations will continue on the remainder of the fire perimeter as needed. Structure protection activities will continue as needed around hunting camps and residences. As temperatures increase during the day, smoldering fuel pockets will flare up, creating large amounts of smoke.

Resources that are no longer needed are being released, making them available for fires in Florida and elsewhere.

Click here to for an update.
Find a Google Earth map of the fire and the closed area here.

May 10, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
Fire Facts-
Location: Center of Big Cypress National Preserve; Date started: 04/26/2011; Size: approximately 35,850 acres (as of 1800 5/8/11); Estimated Containment Date: 5/18/2011; Percent Contained: 60%; Injuries to Date: two (minor); Cause: lightning; Aircraft: 4 type 1, 1 type 2, and 2 type 3 helicopters; Number of Personnel: 350; Equipment: 10 fire swamp buggies, 18 engines; Crews: 3 type 1, 2 type 2 Initial Attack

General Information/Announcements - Some ground level smoke may be visible around the Preserve headquarters and in Everglades City from late afternoon to after dark.

Todays Activity - Crews will hold, improve and complete burnout operations from indirect control lines on the northwest and south flanks of the fire. Burnout on the northwest flank is likely to create visible smoke. Patrol, monitor, and mop up operations will continue on the remainder of the fire perimeter. Structure protection activities will continue as needed around hunting camps and residences.

Click here to for an update.
Click here to see a Google Earth version of burn area and closure. (1800 5/9/2011).

May 9, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
General Information/Announcements -
Smoke may be visible on U. S. 41 south of the fire early today. Smoke should clear by mid-morning.

Todays Activity - Crews will hold and improve burned out containment lines on the northeast, east, and west flanks of the fire. The burnout on the south flank was completed yesterday, but some interior burning will occur today in that area. Burnouts will be initiated from the indirect line on the northwest side if conditions are favorable. Structure protection activities will continue around hunting camps and residences in the vicinities of Turner River Road, Burns Lake subdivision, and along U. S. 41.

Click here to for an update.
Click here to see a Google Earth version of burn area progression and closure. (1800 5/8/2011)


May 8, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
General Information/Announcements -
It is unlikely that smoke will affect visibility on the highways today.

Todays Activity - Fire was of low intensity yesterday, due to afternoon rain. Crews will hold and improve containment lines on the southwest and northeast flanks of the fire, while indirect line preparation continues on the northwest flank. Burnouts will be implemented on the southwest and southeast flanks, weather permitting, to stay ahead of fire advancing to the south. Along the south side of the fire, if fuels dry sufficiently, burnout will proceed north from the containment line parallel to U. S. 41. Structure protection activities will continue around hunting camps and residences. Additional structures will be assessed for possible structure protection.

Click here to for an update.
Click here to see a Google Earth version of burn area progression and closure. (1800 5/7/2011)

May 7, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
General Information/Announcements -
Some smoke may be present on U. S. 41 south of the fire this morning. Smoke should dissipate by 10 AM.

Todays Activity - Crews will hold and improve containment lines on the southwest and northeast flanks of the fire, while indirect containment line is established using the trail network on the northwest flank. Preparation for burnouts will continue on the southwest and southeast flanks. Significant rainfall fell on the southern edge of the fire yesterday. If fuels dry adequately today, a burnout operation may be conducted along the indirect line north of, and parallel to U. S. 41. Structure protection activities will continue around hunting camps and residences. Additional structures will be assessed for possible structure protection. West of the fire front, fire crews will continue working with Preserve resource specialists to protect red cockaded woodpecker cavity trees.

Click here to for an update.
Click here to see a Google Earth version of burn area and closure. (1800 5/6/2011)

May 6, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
General Information/Announcements -
Residual smoke from yesterday's operations will likely clear by mid-morning. Favorable atmospheric conditions should allow smoke to disperse today, minimizing risk of smoke on highways.

Todays Activity - Crews will patrol burned out fire edge along the northeastern perimeter of the fire. Structure protection activities will take place around hunting camps and residences. Along the southern front, aerial and hand ignition will be used to bring the fire south toward the containment line. Patrol and mop up operations will proceed along Monument Trail on the southwest side of the fire. Containment line preparation will be initiated on the northwest flank. To the west of the fire front, fire crews will work with Preserve resource specialists to remove fuel around the bases of red cockaded woodpecker cavity trees to prevent torching if fire reaches this area.

Click here for the full update.

May 5, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update
General Information/Announcements -
No significant ground level smoke is anticipated today. Some smoke on U. S. 41 can be expected after dark, which will likely dissipate by 9 AM Friday.

Todays Activity - Along the northeastern perimeter of the fire structure protection will continue. Burnout operations will proceed along Oasis Trail, keeping pace with the progression of aerially ignited interior fire. Structure protection will be implemented around Mutiny West Camp. Two tractor mounted hydraulic mulchers will be used to remove fuel on abandoned trails between Oasis Trail and Monroe Station, establishing a new southern containment line. Structure protection will be initiated around Monroe North Trail. Crews will be holding and improving the burnout north of Monument Trail/Buckskin Trail junction. A burnout will be conducted south along Monroe North road, keeping pace with, and ahead of the main fire. Along Monument Road between Stop Sign Camp and Monument Bypass the fireline will be held and improved. On the northwest flank fireline will be improved and extended. Burnout will proceed north to tie in with the existing cold burned out area.

Click here for the full update.
Click here to see a Google Earth version of burn area and closure. (1800 5/4/2011)

May 4, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update -
General Information/Announcements -
The National Park Service has established incident priorities that include firefighter safety, protecting private property, threatened and endangered species and their habitat, and natural and cultural resources. NPS resource advisors continue to work with crews to assess resource impacts and appropriate firefighting tactics.

Yesterday Preserve personnel verified that two privately owned hunting camps and a known Florida panther den, with four cubs, were lost due to wildfire activity. Additionally, on April 28, another private camp was lost. Owners of the private camps have been notified. In the case of the panther den, it is known that the adult female associated with the den has survived. Several small outbuildings on private properties and several NPS properties have also been lost. In all instances reasonable fire suppression activities were being applied until such time that fire and smoke conditions dictated the removal of firefighters for safety reasons.

Today's Activity - Crews are continuing to secure the northeastern perimeter of the fire. Aerial ignition operations will continue on the southeastern flank west of Oasis Trail, and structure protection will be underway in the area north of Oasis Visitor Center. Crews will monitor the burnout along Monument Road on the southwest side of the fire, while protecting structures in the area. Aerial ignition burnouts will be initiated from Monument Road east to tie in with the southwestern and western flanks of the fire. The northwest side of the fire will be assessed to determine feasibility of another burnout operation. Aerial ignitions are used to lower fire intensities and increase firefighter safety.

Click here for the full update.

May 3, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update - Estimated acreage as of 1300 5/2/11: 12,150. Today crews will be holding and monitoring the northeastern perimeter of the fire. Aerial ignition will be utilized on the southeastern flank of the fire to burn out fuel between the fire's edge and Oasis Trail. Also, burnout operations will be conducted on the westernmost side of the fire between Monument and Buckskin Trails. Crews will continue structure protection at Hustead camp. The northwestern edge of the fire exhibits little activity and will be monitored.

Yesterday, the extreme southwest corner of the fire advanced west to Monument Trail approximately one mile north of the Skillet North Trail and Monument Trail junction. On the east side, a burnout operation was completed along the Oasis Trail in the general area between the Little Buckhorn and Murphy camps.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team took responsibility for fire suppression on 5/1/2011. The team is managing the fire under the direction of Big Cypress National Preserve, a unit of the National Park Service.

Click here to view a complete update report.
Click here to view a general locator map of the fire and closure using Google Earth.

May 2, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update - The fire has burned approximately 10,080 acres (as of 1:00 p.m. 5/1/11) in the central portion of the Preserve and is 15 percent contained. Suppression actions have limited any spread to the north; however, the fire continues to spread to the south and west. For more details click here. Click here for a map showing general location of fire and closure. Click here for a Google Earth file of the burned area.

May 1, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update - The fire has burned approximately 9,400 acres. Click here for the daily update. To view a Google Earth file of the burn area and the area of the Preserve that is closed for safety purposes, click here.

April 29, 2011 Jarhead Wildfire Update - As of this morning the active fire within Big Cypress National Preserve has burned approximately 5,000 acres in the central portion of the Preserve. Crews from the National Park Service and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service are actively creating fire lines to contain the lightning caused fire and to protect privately owned backcountry camps where necessary.

For safety reasons all primary and secondary trails in the vicinity of the fire are closed to the public. You can find a Google Earth file of the burned area to date here.

A Type 1 incident management team will begin the management of the fire beginning tomorrow. This team will have the authority to request additional resources to aid in fire suppression as the need arises.

April 28, 2011 - "Jarhead" fire in center of Preserve south of Little Deer area. This is a lightning caused fire that began yesterday. It has burned approximately 3,000 acres. In an effort to minimize risk and to ensure the safety of visitors and our employees the NPS is taking the measure to close the primary and secondary trails in the vicinity of the fire. To view a general locator map click here. To view a Google Earth map of the area click here.

Did You Know?

Alligator in the swamp.

HP Williams and Oasis Visitor Center are popular places to see alligators. The best time to see large congregations of alligators is typically January-May. Do not feed or approach wildlife.