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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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Big Cypress Fire Complex Update III

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Date: May 17, 2007
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Chris Worth, Incident Public Information Officer

Fire Facts

Date Started: May 4, 2007; Cause of Ignition: Lightning; Location: north & east of Everglades City; Size: 18,700 acres; Percent contained: 35%; Est. Containment: Unknown; Aircraft: 2; Handcrews: 2; Equipment: 5 Engines, 2 Dozers; Number of Personnel: 173; Injuries to date: None

The BICY Complex is currently made up of several, major fires:

· Strickland Fire, located north of I-75 and, west of Levee 28 Interceptor Canal is estimated at 11,000 acres. Midrest Fire, situated north of I-75 and west of the Strickland Fire is estimated at 4,400 acres. FT6 Fire, located north of Highway 41 and east of the Florida National Scenic Trail is estimated at 1,900 acres. The Trail Fire located south of I-75 and north of the FT6 Fire is estimated at 450 acres. The HP Fire is estimated at 950 acres and is situated south of Highway 41, in the vicinity of Turner River Canoe Trail.

Yesterday’s Fire Activities:

· Firefighters successfully extended burnout operations about 1.6 miles between the Strickland Fire and the community of Sanctuary to remove fuels and check the wildfire’s slow advance. The Strickland Fire is actively burning both north and south of I-75. Helicopters made several water drops to “cool” the heavily burning fuels along the I-75 corridor. I-75 is open and passable to travelers.

· On the FT6 Fire, firefighters continue to patrol and mop up for hot spots along its outer edges. Helicopters support with aerial bucket drops of water “cooled” smoldering fuels within the fire’s perimeter. Afternoon rain showers yielded rain over much of the fire area greatly helping to moderate fire behavior.

· Fire behavior was slow to inactive on most fires due to continuing but scattered precipitation through out the afternoon, except the northern part of the Strickland fire where little to no precipitation was received. The Midrest Fire and other fires in the complex remained in a monitoring status.

Today’s Planned Events:

· As weather conditions permit, firefighters will continue burnout operations along lines immediately east of the Strickland Fire to protect the community. Resources will continue to patrol and mop-up the spot fires south of the I-75 corridor to secure the corridor. On the FT6 Fire, firefighters will also continue to conduct patrol and mop-up operations on the spot east of the 11 mile road. All other fires will remain in a monitoring status.

Weather Forecast:

Temperature 93, winds NE Gust 19 mph, and relative humidity 51% continuing showers. A drying trend is anticipated over the next several days. As temperatures warm and precipitation decreases, fire activity will likely increase.

For additional information:

· InciWeb Incident Information: http://www.inciweb.org

· BICY Complex Maps: ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Data/SOUTHERN/Florida/07_BICY_Complex

Did You Know?

Many large trees that did exist were harvested in the early 1900s.

There are few "big cypress" in Big Cypress National Preserve. The name actually refers to the great expanse of cypress forest, hundreds of thousands of acres, within the Big Cypress Swamp.