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Contact: Laurie Humphrey, 239-695-1214
Ochopee – Effective immediately, Big Cypress National Preserve will reopen the Bear Island Campground to all recreational use. The area was closed due to wildfire activity. Additionally, the lands and trails closed for the Bluebird Prescribed Fire will reopen to all recreational use. Firefighters have surveyed the area and determined that conditions are safe to reopen.
Backcountry users should exercise caution when traveling in recently burned areas. Visitors should look up and around and be aware of fire and storm weakened tree limbs.
The section of the Florida National Scenic Trail will reopen from Oasis Visitor Center north to 7-mile Camp. Recent wildfire activity from the Bluebird Prescribed Fire had closed the trail to hikers. The trail remains closed for the planned Lost Dog Prescribed Fire from 7-Mile Camp north to I-75. The closures for the planned Lost Dog Prescribed Fire will remain in effect until rescinded by press release. See attached previously issued closure for more detail. All planned fire activity is weather and resource dependent.
“The safety of our visitors, stakeholders, and community is very important to us. This Lost Dog closure will allow fire crews to safely conduct operations in the area should weather and fire conditions permit,” said Big Cypress Superintendent Tamara Whittington.
The fire activity is managed by the Southwest Florida and Caribbean Fire and Aviation Management Program (SWFLCAR), a cooperative program between Big Cypress National Preserve and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Region 4, District 6. Questions about the fire may be directed to the contact above or the SWFLCAR Duty Officer, available any time, 239-719-0241. Media questions should be directed to Acting Public Information Officer, Laurie Humphrey, 239-695-1214.