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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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Big Cypress Fire Complex Update XIV

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Date: June 1, 2007
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Art Wirtz, 602-206-6816

Yesterday’s Fire Activities:  

- A hazardous material clean up began yesterday on the fuel tanker accident at the intersection of I-75 and Hwy-29.

- A 6 mile long and 1 mile wide fuel-break burn out was completed on the east side of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge next to Hwy 29 to reduce the risk of a westerly spread of the main fire.

- Firefighters continued to work on the north and west sides of the other fires on the Big Cypress National Preserve using swamp buggies, aircraft, and tracked vehicles to help with suppression efforts.

- Many parts of the fire were inaccessible with heavy, highly volatile fuels.

- No private property has been damaged to date.

The BICY Complex consists of one major fire.Both the Strickland and Midrest fires have burned together consolidating approximately 24 miles of fire line on the north side of I-75 from mile marker 52 to mile marker 76. Potential remains for the fire to spread in a western, northern, and southern direction. However, if forecasted weather conditions for rainfall should occur, the potential for the fire to spread will be reduced.

Closures:

The mandatory evacuation and closure of recreational and private landowner access to the Bear Island Unit and the Addition Lands north of I-75 and west of the northerly portion of the Turner River Road remains in force. The previous closure of the Florida Scenic National Trail from US Highway 41 north to the Preserve’s northern boundary; and, a closure of the Addition Lands north and south of I-75 and east of Turner River Road to all recreational access remains in effect.

Fire Facts:

Date Started: May 4, 2007; Cause of Ignition: Lightning; Location: 23 miles N/E Everglades City; Size: 60,288 acres; Percent contained: 65%; Est. Containment: Unknown; Aircraft: 5; Handcrews: 9; Equipment: Engines 15, Dozers 2; Number of Personnel: 384; Injuries to date: one

Today’s Planned Events:

- Firefighters will continue to secure existing control and containment lines through patrol and mop up operations.

- Firefighters will continue extinguishing “hot spots” and monitor the movement of the fire to the south.

- The fire’s western front remains approximately 4 miles east of Highway 29 (north of I-75) This front has minimal active fire but still has “hot spots and” smoldering fuels. 

Weather Forecast:

Temperature: High 86, winds E/NE 12-16 mph with gusts of 22 mph, and a relative humidity of 62%. Scattered showers, becoming more widespread during the day with isolated thunderstorms. Chance of rain 90%.

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.