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Ochopee – Big Cypress National Preserve has issued an emergency closure for the Anhinga Wildfire which is currently at 518 acres and 5% containment. During the closure, all recreational use including hiking, hunting, and camping will be prohibited in the designated areas. This is to promote visitor safety during wildfire activity. Fire crews are aggressively fighting the wildfire from the air using helicopters and single engine air tankers.
The closures include the following areas: Pink Jeep, Gator Head and Bear Island Campgrounds. The closure includes the following roads and trails: Bear Island Grade Trail, Perocchi Grade Trail, and Bear Island Campground Road. The closures will take effect immediately. These areas are anticipated to reopen by press release once all wildfire activity has ceased and the area is safe for access. Additional press releases will be issued if more closures are required.
Aviation and ground resources have been dispatched to the wildfire and are working to identify structures in the area at risk. The fire is currently burning in palmetto, pineland and cabbage palm habitat and growth is expected due to wind direction and low relative humidity. Firefighters are working hard to limit the growth of the fire to south of Bear Island grade, west of Turner River Road and Perocchi Grade, north of I-75 and east of SR29. We are working with Florida Highway Patrol to monitor conditions and to limit impacts.
The public will be advised of the implementation and subsequent termination of this emergency closure by press release and the posting of signs in appropriate areas. The source of the fire is under investigation.
Private lands in the designated area will remain open. Residents should use extreme caution and notify the Fire Duty Officer of entry by calling (239) 719-0241.