2015 Mud Lake Fire Complex

Public Information Officer Contact - Mudlakecomplex@gmail.com; 239-695-0881

Updated information on this incident can also be accessed at the InciWeb Big Cypress website. Access it by clicking here.

June 4 update

June 3 update

June 2 update

June 1 update

May 31 update

May 30 update

May 28, 10:00 a.m. update

May 27, 10:00 a.m. update

May 26, 10:00 a.m. update

May 25, 9:30 a.m. update

May 24, 9:15 a.m. update

May 23, 11:00 a.m. update

May 22, 11:00 a.m. update

May 21, 8:30 p.m. smoke impact notice

May 21, 9:30 a.m. update

May 20, 9:30 a.m. update

May 19, 10:00 a.m. update

May 18, 11:00 a.m. update

May 17, 11:00 a.m. update

May 15, 10:00 a.m. update

May 14, 2:00 p.m. update

May 13, 6:00 p.m. update
Big Cypress National Preserve Implements Temporary Closure in Northern Portions of the Preserve

Due to multiple wildfires burning in the Northern areas of Big Cypress National Preserve, an emergency temporary closure will take effect immediately.

The temporary closure includes lands administered by Big Cypress National Preserve south of Interstate 75, from mile marker 59 to mile marker 75 (Turner River Road), south to Upper Wagon Wheel Road.The closure also extends to lands administered by Big Cypress National Preserve north of Interstate 75, from mile marker 59 to mile marker 70, north to the Big Cypress Preserve Boundary.

Click here to view information on closure, including a map.

These areas will be closed in order to provide for public and firefighters safety in areas of high fire activity.These areas are closed to all recreational use including Off-Road Vehicles (ORV), hiking, and camping. This area includes portions of the Florida National Scenic Trail from mile 12, traveling north to the northern boundary of Big Cypress National Preserve.

For your safety, it is not safe for the public to enter the closure area.Helicopters, swamp buggies, engines, and crews continue to work on the fire perimeter.The roads and trails in these areas are being heavily used by firefighting equipment and personnel and lead directly to active fire areas.

All other areas of the Preserve including visitor use areas and visitors centers along Tamiami Trail remain open at this time.

Please review the corresponding map and closure order.For additional closure information, please contact the Mud Lake Complex Fire Information at 305-972-6735 or visit the Mud Lake Complex at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov

May 13, 3:00 p.m. update
Mud Lake Fire Managers Contend with Managing a Complex Fire

The Mud Lake Wildfire Complex, thirty miles east of Naples, Florida in Big Cypress National Preserve is approximately 4,049 acres and remains 20% contained at this time.

The Mud Lake Complex presents unique challenges for fire managers in Big Cypress National Preserve."Fire is an essential ecological process and natural part of the Big Cypress ecosystem.This ecosystem needs fire to thrive;however fire managers also have to contend with managing fire adjacent to interstate traffic, developed lands and private property, and rare or endangered species."

"Although some areas of the fire received spotty showers yesterday, the water table has dropped to an extremely low levels in Big Cypress Preserve.Therefore, the entire ecosystem is relatively dry and susceptible to fire until the water table rises," said Bob Sobczak, Big Cypress Hydrologist.

As temperatures rise, humidity declines, and winds increase, fire activity on the Mud Lake Complex is expected to increase this afternoon.Fire Behavior Analyst, Jon Wallace remarked, "We could see some really big fire movement today.The weather forecast calls for high dispersion levels, a measure of atmospheric instability, which leads to fire growth under these weather conditions."

Air and ground resources will continue to work to improve containment of the fire area and protect structures within the fire area.Fire suppression efforts are limited due to the remote location of the wildfires and accessibility allows for safe access for firefighters to work on the fires.

All areas of Big Cypress Preserve remain open at this time.

As of Tuesday night, there are 2 crews, 4 swamp buggies, 3 engines, 6 helicopters, 1 single engine air tanker and air attack working on the fire.A total of 99 personnel are working on the Mud Fire Complex.

May 12, 7:00 p.m. update
Mud Lake Wildfire Complex Continues Fire Spread with a New Fire Start in Rainy Conditions

The Mud Lake Wildfire Complex, thirty miles east of Naples, Florida in Big Cypress National Preserve is approximately 3,414 acres and 20% contained at this time.

Moderate weather conditions including scattered showers were observed in the fire area today;however many areas of the fire did not receive appreciable amounts of rain.

Afternoon thunderstorms with high wind gusts increased fire growth in short runs on the western edge of the Ellison (2,515 acres) and Circle (556 acres) Wildfires. Aviation resources, including a Single Engine Air Tanker and helicopters, worked with hand crews on the ground to secure the northeast section of fireline on the Ellipse wildfire and to limit fire spread north towards Interstate 75.

A new fire start, the Dot Fire, was reported around one o'clock this afternoon after thunderstorms developed north of the fire area.The Dot Fire, approximately 1 acre, is located four miles north of mile marker 66 along Interstate 75.

Drier weather conditions, increased temperatures, and increased winds are forecast for tomorrow which may make fire control efforts difficult.Increased fire activity and more lightning is expected with storms moving through the area in the afternoon.

Air and ground personnel continue to work together on suppression efforts where accessibility allows for safe access for firefighters to work on the fires.

All areas of Big Cypress Preserve remain open at this time.

As of Monday night, there are 2 crews, 4 swamp buggies, 3 engines, 6 helicopters, 1 single engine air tanker and air attack working on the fire.A total of 99 personnel are working on the Mud Fire Complex.

MAY 12, 11:00 a.m. update
The Mud Lake Wildfire Complex, thirty miles east of Naples, Florida in Big Cypress National Preserve is approximately 2,077 acres and remains 15% contained at this time. The Mud Lake wildfires started naturally by lightning as storms passed through the local area this weekend.

Fire personnel are actively suppressing the six wildfires (Ellison, Ellipse, Mist, Circle, Square, and Triangle wildfires) in order to provide for firefighter and public safety and limit smoke impacts to Interstate 75. Air and ground personnel continue to work together on suppression efforts where accessibility allows for safe access for firefighters to work on the fires.

Rain is forecast to move through the fire area this afternoon which may aid in fire suppression efforts; however, high temperatures and gusty winds are expected to increase fire activity and may make fire control efforts difficult today. Additional lightning is expected with storms moving through the area this afternoon.

Incident Commander Jon Wallace said, "Our firefighters are working hard to protect people and infrastructure and manage smoke in the fire area. Fires like the Mud Lake Complex happen every year in south Florida. We are working to manage the fires effectively while still maintaining a healthy fire-adapted ecosystem."

All areas of Big Cypress Preserve remain open at this time.

As of Monday night, there is 1 crew, 4 swamp buggies, 2 engines, 6 helicopters, 1 single engine air tanker and air attack working on the fire. A total of 73 personnel are assigned from various interagency wildland fire crews representing the National Park Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Forest Service, Florida Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs Seminole Tribe. Big Cypress National Preserve anticipate transitioning the management of the Mud Lake Complex to a Type 1 Incident Management Team this week.

Click here for a map related to fire activity.

Last updated: September 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Phone:

(239) 695-2000

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