• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

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  • 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 »

Skillet Fire


With more accurate mapping the Skillet Fire is estimated at 2,588 acres.

The fire area received light precipitation, and smokes along Highway 41 are minimal. No additional impacts to 41 are anticipated, however, there is a slight potential for continued growth to the south and southwest.

Containment is estimated at 75 percent and no injuries have occurred.

This will be the last update unless significant activity occurs.


The Skillet Fire is estimated at 2,300 acres (primarily due to the burnout).

A burnout along Highway 41 was successful yesterday, securing the fire edge along the highway and tying it in to a large cypress strand to the east and a canal to the west. Crews worked into the late afternoon, before departing the scene due to heavy lightning in the area. The fire received 0.5 inches of rain following the burnout, but the fire continues to smolder within the fire area.

Everglades National Park, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Rookery Bay Reserve, and Florida State Forest Service are assisting.

Containment is estimated at 50 percent and no injuries have occurred.


Skillet Wildland Fire - This 35-acre fire was detected June 14, 2014, at 1700, approximately .25 miles south of Highway 41, between Skillet Strand and national preserve headquarters.

The fire is approximately 0.5 miles from both a private structure and an eagle nest. At this time, neither are threatened. Potential for fire impacts to the structure and nest are being considered and addressed.

The fire is burning in pineland, but has the potential to move into mixed hardwood to the north and mangrove, to the south. It is predominately cypress to the east and recently burned prairie to the west. Fire resources are considering a burnout along Highway 41 to minimize long term smoke impacts along the road.

Winds are predicted to be light, which leaves a slight possibility for smoke impacts to Highway 41; Florida Highway Patrol has been notified and will be monitoring the situation. Light winds are expected with fair dispersion through the burn period.

Everglades National Park and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge are assisting.

Did You Know?

Hunters entering the Preserve on a swamp buggy. Photo courtesy of Jack Moller.

Big Cypress National Preserve was one of the first national preserves within the National Park System. As a preserve, Big Cypress manages for a broader range of recreational activities, including hunting and off-road vehicle access.