Big Cypress Fire Complex Update IV
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Chris Worth, 715-209-0095
Yesterday’s Fire Activities:
- Firefighters successfully completed burnout operations on the Strickland Fire to protect the community of Sanctuary to check the wildfire’s gradual northeast advance. Additionally, burnout operations were conducted around two cabin sites north of I-75 to protect these structures from wildfire. 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.
- On the FT6 Fire, firefighters continue to patrol and mop up for hot spots along its outer edges.
- Two new, small fires were detected just north of Highway 41, and, were quickly controlled with air tankers.
- Fire behavior was generally slow due to favorable winds and effective suppression tactics that helped slow the fires’ spread. The Midrest Fire and other fires in the complex remained in a monitoring status.
All facilities remain open within the Preserve that are typically open during this season. No privately owned structures have been damaged due to fires.
Date Started: May 4, 2007; Cause of Ignition: Lightning; Location: north & east of Everglades City; Size: 18,800 acres; Percent contained: 40%; Est. Containment: Unknown; Aircraft: 3; Handcrews: 4; Equipment: Engines 5, Dozers 2; Number of Personnel: 223; 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 11,400 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 1,600 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.
Today’s Planned Events:
· A large prescribed fire operation is planned for the Strickland fire in order to completely contain the fire within a burned perimeter to stop any potential spread of wildfire which might threaten either Sanctuary or the I-75 corridor. Aerial ignition will be used to ignite unburned fuels inside previously constructed fire lines. During the afternoon hours, traffic on I-75 should proceed through the fire area with caution; heavy smoke from burnout operations may likely reduce visibility and make driving at high speeds hazardous. There is a possibility that I-75 may be temporarily closed and travel re-routed. Travelers should check the highway’s status by phoning the Florida State-Wide Sunguide Travelers’ Information at #511.
· Fire personnel will continue to patrol and mop-up the spot fires south of the I-75 corridor. Firefighters will also conduct patrol and mop-up operations east of the 11 Mile Road, continuing to check for spots on the northern and western flanks of the Midrest fire. All other fires will remain in a monitoring status.
Temperature High 90, winds NW 5-10 mph, and relative humidity 40%. 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?
The purple galinule though one of the most colorful birds in Big Cypress, is often well camouflaged. Look carefully along canal edges and gator holes for this beautiful bird. Many of the surrounding colors blend well with the birds feathers.