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Contact: Bridget Litten, 304-242-7714
Contact: Rick Anderson, 305-546-9358
A fire, most likely human-caused, in Everglades National Park will be fully suppressed according to park superintendent Dan Kimball, due to its proximity to two populations of a federally listed endangered species—the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow.
The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow was among the first group of species listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in March 1967. "Our highest priority, as always, is firefighter and public safety, but we need to ensure that the habitat of the endangered seaside sparrow is protected," said Kimball.
The Mustang Corner Fire, estimated to be 7,000 acres in size, was first reported Tuesday morning south of Chekika, a recreation area in east Everglades. With winds out of the east, this wind-driven fire is burning into the interior of the park and is threatening no structures. The fire is burning predominantly in sawgrass, but due to the low fuel moistures, the hardwood hammocks are also burning.
Currently assisting in the suppression efforts are firefighters from the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Florida Division of Forestry; one single-engine air tanker (SEAT); and two helicopters.