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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • Annual 60-Day ORV Closure for Wheeled Vehicles

    Beginning at 12:01 am Monday, June 2, the annual 60-day recreational ORV closure for all units of the Preserve that allow for wheeled ORV access will begin. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 1. More »

  • 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 »

  • Campground Closure

    All campgrounds but Midway and the loop in the Bear Island Campground are closed through August 29. More »

  • Interstate 75 Mile Marker 63 Closure

    Beginning summer of 2013, the rest area and backcountry access at Mile Marker 63 will be closed due to construction. More »

Big Cypress Fire Complex Update VI

Interagency fire crew in the field during Big Cypress Complex Fire at Big Cypress National Preserve.
Fire crews in the field at the Strickland Fire.
Agency Photo

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News Release Date: May 22, 2007
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Chris Worth, Incident PIO

Yesterday’s Fire Activities

-  Severe drought and readily receptive fuels are still contributing to active fire behavior causing control problems. 

-  Portions of most fires were difficult to access except with swamp buggies and helicopter crew shuttles.

-  The Strickland and Midrest fires continued to grow in size, moving towards a southwesterly direction. Firefighters completed two significant burnout operations in an attempt to halt these fires’ advance and protect the I-75 corridor. The burnout operations took place both north and south of I-75, one in the vicinity of the Florida Scenic Trail; and, the second between the Bundschu (Baker) Grade and the north edge of the Midrest Fire.

-  All other fires in the complex remained in a monitoring status.


As of May 21, 2007the following areas remain closed to all recreational access and activities - the Florida National Scenic Trail (Florida Trail) from US 41 North to the Northern Boundary of the Preserve; all Addition Lands North of I-75; and, Addition Lands South of I-75 and East of Turner River Road; the Bear Island Unit of the original Preserve.


To date, no private properties have been damaged due to fires within the Preserve.


Fire Facts

Date Started: May 4, 2007 ;Cause of Ignition: Lightning;          Location: north & east of EvergladesCity; Size: 26,600 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 19,000 acres. Midrest Fire, situated north of I-75 and west of the Strickland Fire is estimated at 4,500 acres.  All other previous fires are in patrol, mop-up, 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 Bundschu Grade on the Midrest Fire with a continued mop up on the east side of the fire.

- Firefighters will hold and complete the burnout south of I-75 for the Strickland Fire. Crews will also continue to monitor for fire activity near the community of Sanctuary, as well as identify any rehabilitation needs.  With the continued drying conditions and projected east winds, firefighters will conduct patrol activities on both the Strickland and Midrest fires along I-75 to guard against any potential escape across the interstate or impingement to either the Florida Scenic Trail or Bear Island Unit.  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 diligently watching the Preserve’s lands for any new fire starts.                       


Weather Forecast:

Temperature High 88, winds E 5-10 mph with gusts of 15-18 mph, with a relative humidity of 45%.


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.