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    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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Big Cypress Fire Update X

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Date: May 26, 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:   

- The Midrest Fire’s main flame front is about 4 miles east of Highway 29 (north of I-75); however, the fire’s advance has greatly slowed due to its encounter with the moister fuels conditions of the East Hinson Marsh.  Firefighters, with the help of water drops from aircraft, made good progress building and burning out lines along both the Midrest Fire’s northern and southern flanks.  Where conditions were favorable, burnout operations were initiated to reinforce the control lines.

- The west flank of the Strickland Fire continues to spread to the west and north.  Fireline supervisors scouted out potential locations along Strickland’s northern perimeter in order to construct lines and check the fire’s slow spread.  Fire crews persisted with mop up and/or patrol operations on the other fires in the complex.

Fire Facts

Date Started: May 4, 2007; Cause of Ignition: Lightning; Location: north & east of Everglades City; Size: 52,000 acres; Percent contained: 55%; Est. Containment:  Unknown; Aircraft: 4; Handcrews: 5; Equipment: Engines 14, Dozers 3; Number of Personnel: 273; Injuries to date: None     

The BICY Complex is made up of two major fires:

The Strickland Fire, located north of I-75 and, west of Levee 28 Interceptor Canal is estimated at about 30,000 acres. The Midrest Fire, situated north of I-75 and west of the Strickland Fire has grown to 18,900 acres.

Today’s Planned Events:

- Firefighters will continue laboring 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.

- Air patrol will also be examining the fires within the complex, such as the FT6 Fire, with specialized, infrared, heat sensing equipment to find out where “hot spots” might still be smoldering. 

- Jeff Whitney’s Southwest Area National Incident Management Team (IMT) will be transitioning with members of the Northern Rockies National IMT in preparation to take over command of the Big Cypress Complex on Sunday, May 27 at 7:00 a.m.

Weather Forecast:

Temperature: High 90, winds E/NE 8-12 mph, with a relative humidity of 43%.

Updates will not be posted on this site, or emailed to typical recipients on 5/27 and 28. Updated information for those days can be viewed at the links on the right side of this page.

Did You Know?

A great white heron scratches its neck. Notice the color of the legs.

The great white heron is very similar to the great white egret. However, look closely and you will see that the heron has yellow legs, while the egret has black legs. The great white heron is found only in south Florida in the United States. It can also be found on several caribbean islands.