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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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Big Cypress Fire Complex Update

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Date: May 15, 2007
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Chris Worth, Incident Information Officer

Fire Facts

Date Started: May 4, 2007 Cause of Ignition: Lightning Location: north & east of Everglades City Size: 17,200 acres Percent Contained: 25% Est. Containment: Unknown Aircraft: 3 Handcrews: 2 Equipment: 3 Engines: 3 Dozers Number of Personnel: 103 Injuries to date: None

All facilities remain open within the Preserve that are typically open during this season. No privately owned structures have been damaged due to fires.

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

·    The most actively burning fires are the Strickland, Midrest, and FT6 fires. Strickland Fire, located north of I-75, and, west of Levee 28 Interceptor Canal is estimated at 10,000 acres. Midrest Fire, situated north of I-75 and west of the Strickland Fire is estimated at 3,900 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 situated south of Highway 41, in the vicinity of Turner River Canoe Trail.

Yesterday’s Fire Activities

·    Firefighters successfully conducted burnout operations between the Strickland Fire and the rural community of Sanctuary to remove fuels and check the northeast spread of the flame front. The Strickland Fire is actively burning both north and south of I-75, with heavy smoke periodically reducing visibility along the interstate. Helicopters made numerous water drops to “cool” the heavily burning fuels along the I-75 corridor. Due to smoke and suppression operations, traffic was temporarily re-routed on to alternate routes.

·    The FT6 Fire spotted across the 11 Mile Road, but no private in-holdings or oil field equipment is threatened. Firefighters quickly attacked the spot to contain the fire’s growth.

·    Fire behavior was active on most fires due to ongoing extremely dry conditions, but greatly moderated with scattered afternoon thunderstorms and rain. In the day’s heat, total fire perimeter growth increased substantially.  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 to extend burnout operations along control lines immediately east of the Strickland Fire. Resources will persist in combating the spot fires south of the I-75 corridor to secure the corridor. On the FT6 Fire, firefighters will be deployed on the spot fires east of the 11 Mile Road. All other fires will remain in a monitoring status.

·    A public meeting has been scheduled for the residents of the Sanctuary Community to share information about the status of fires in the BICY Complex, the foreseeable fire behavior, and the planned tactics.

Weather Forecast:Temperature 94, winds gusting to 40 miles per hour, and relative humidity 34%.

As temperatures warm and precipitation decreases, fire activity will likely increase.

For more information on fire operations and up-dates visit -

The National Inter-agency Fire Center's (NIFC) Incident Information Site - www.inciweb.org

NIFC documents related to the Big Cypress Complex Fires (includes maps and other Geographical Information System (GIS) items. Some files are very large and may download slowly.) - ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific_Data/Southern/Florida/07_BICY_Complex

Did You Know?

GeraldFord_Large

Before Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States designated Big Cypress as the country's first national preserve, in 1974, he worked as a National Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park, in 1936. He was the only US President to have worked for the National Park Service.