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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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Big Cypress Fire Update IX

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Date: May 25, 2007
Contact: Bob DeGross, 239-695-1107
Contact: Chris Worth, 715-209-0095

Closures:

The Preserve remains closed to all recreational access and activities in areas north of I-75, and within the areas of the Addition Lands south of I-75 and east of Turner River Road. Additionally, there is a mandatory evacuation in affect for camp owners and residents within the Bear Island Unit and those areas of the Addition Lands north of I-75 and west of Turner River Road. The Florida National Scenic Trail north of U.S. 41, to the northern border of the Preserve, is also closed.

Yesterday’s Fire Activities:   

- Severe drought, readily receptive fuels, and strong winds continue to contribute to the fires’ growth.  Both the Midrest and Strickland fires were actively burning, largely on their western portions. The Midrest Fire’s main flame front is now approximately 4 miles east of Highway 29 (north of I-75); however, the fire’s advance has slowed due to its encounter with the moister fuel conditions of the East Hinson Marsh. The west flank of the Strickland Fire continues to spread in both a western and northern direction.

- Firefighters continued to construct holding lines along the Midrest Fire’s northerly flanks to retard its movement. Additionally, aircraft assaulted the fires’ advance, dropping water on a significant portion of the north and west boundaries of the fires’ perimeter. Fire crews persisted with mop up operations on the other fires in the complex.

- No private properties have been damaged to date.

Fire Facts

Date Started: May 4, 2007; Cause of Ignition: Lightning; Location: north & east of Everglades City; Size: 49,000 acres; Percent contained: 50%; Est. Containment: Unknown; Aircraft: 4; Handcrews: 5; Equipment: Engines 14, Dozers 3; Number of Personnel: 271; Injuries to date: None     

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

The Strickland Fire, located north of I-75 and, west of Levee 28 Interceptor Canal has grown to about 29,000 acres. The Midrest Fire, situated north of I-75 and west of the Strickland Fire is estimated at 16,900 acres.

Today’s Planned Events:

- Firefighters will continue working on the north and south sides of the Midrest Fire using swamp buggies, aircraft and tracked vehicles to help with suppression efforts. The west side of the fire continues to be difficult to extinguish because of severe drying conditions and high winds.

- On the Strickland Fire, fire crews will continue to snuff out “hot spots” and mop-up along its north, east, and south sides. Opportunities for burnout operations will continue to be assessed. All other fires will be patrol status.

- With the continued drying conditions and projected winds, firefighters will be patrolling on both the Strickland and Midrest fires along I-75 to guard against any potential escape across the interstate or impingement to the Florida Scenic Trail.

Weather Forecast:

Temperature: High 92, winds E/NE 8-10 mph with gusts 15-18 mph, with a relative humidity of 38%.

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.