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Contact: Ardrianna McLane, 239-695-1107
Ochopee – Effective immediately, Big Cypress National Preserve will reopen the closures implemented for visitor safety and firefighting activities for the Avian Wildfire Complex. Closures were in place for the Buzzard, Caracara, Curlew, Flamingo, and Spoonbill Fires. Firefighters have surveyed the area and determined that conditions are safe to reopen. Backcountry users and landowners should exercise caution when traveling in recently burned areas. Visitors should look up and around and be aware of fire weakened tree limbs and unexpected trail hazards.
Although Avian Wildfire Complex closures are being lifted, the annual 60-day recreational off-road vehicle (ORV) closure for all management units goes into effect on Saturday, June 2. Any units that allow recreational ORV access within the preserve are included in the closure. The closure will be lifted by press release on Friday, August 3, 2018. During the annual 60-day recreational off-road vehicle closure, hiking, biking and other forms of recreation are permitted.
In addition, the Zone 4 of the Stairsteps Unit remains closed due to hydrologic triggers and will be reopened when resource management conditions have been met.
Landowners with a valid special use permit may gain access along designated routes through the preserve to their private properties in the backcountry.