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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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Big Cypress Fire Complex Update V

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Date: May 21, 2007
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Chris Worth, Incident PIO

Yesterday’s Fire Activities:

- Severe drought and readily receptive fuels are all contributing to active fire behavior causing control problems. Thunder cells continued yesterday around and over all fires.

- Portions of most fires were difficult to access except with swamp buggies and helicopters.

- The Strickland and Midrest fires continued to grow in size in a south westerly direction. The western portions of the both fires became very active, burning through stringers of pine trees, dry brush, and palmetto grass. High down draft winds combined with the relatively open area under the cypress and pine canopy allowed for venting of the fire, pushing the flames westward.

- Fire crews labored to mop up, extinguish flare ups, and secure the two remaining fire threats and fires that started as a consequence of recent thunderstorms. Other fires in the complex remained in a monitoring status.

- Recreational access and activity closures within the northern portion of the Preserve are in effect due to firefighting operations. Click here for details.

- No privately owned structures have been damaged due to fires.

Fire Facts:

Date Started: May 4, 2007; Cause of Ignition: Lightning; Location: north & east of Everglades City; Size: 22,000 acres; Percent contained: 55%; Est. Containment: Unknown; Aircraft: 3; Handcrews: 4; Equipment: Engines 5, Dozers 2; Number of Personnel: 226; Injuries to date: None

The BICY Complex is currently made up of two major fires:

- Strickland Fire, located north of I-75 and, west of Levee 28 Interceptor Canal is estimated at 15,300 acres. Midrest Fire, situated north of I-75 and west of the Strickland Fire is estimated at 3,700 acres. All other previous fires are in either patrol, mop-up, and/or monitoring status.

Today’s Planned Events:

- Firefighters will continue the suppression of “hot spots” and continue to mop up fire perimeters.

- A burn out operation will be conducted on the south and west of Baker Road on the Midrest Fire with a continued mop up on the east side of the fire.

- Firefighters will begin to identify rehabilitation needs on the northeast side of the Strickland fire and continue to monitor for fire activity near the community of Sanctuary. With the continued drying conditions and projected north east winds, firefighters will conduct patrol activities on the Strickland fire along I-75 to guard against a potential escape across the interstate. Additionally, aerial ignition will be conducted north of I-75 in an attempt to starve the advancing wildfire of fuel and eliminate the potential for a fire escape.

- Air patrol will be conducted on all of the other fires to assure no new starts occur.

Weather Forecast:

Temperature High 93, winds NE 5-10 mph with gusts of 15-18 mph, with a relative humidity of 37%, 20% chance of thunder showers.

For more information visit:

http://www.inciweb.org

ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Data/SOUTHERN/Florida/07_BICY_Complex

Did You Know?

A purple galinule walking along spadder dock.

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.