(Click here to see an updated version of this article, including the fact that dozers built a fireline through the burning cars.)
Yesterday a fire at the Southwest Florida International Airport at Fort Myers, Florida destroyed 3,516 rental cars that were stored in an overflow parking area on the east side of Terminal Access Road. Firefighters on the ground were assisted by helicopters dropping water on the flames. The cars were stored in a grassy field, a fact that may have helped the fire spread. Vicki Moreland, communications director for the airport, said even though 3,516 cars burned, another 3,800 cars in the lot were saved. She said the cause of the fire is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal.
The main road leading to the terminal was closed during the fire but reopened at 11 p.m. Friday. Saturday morning, Florida Forest Service personnel returned to the scene to make sure the fire did not pick back up again, according to Melinda Avni, FFS mitigation specialist.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office reported that one of their Huey helicopters flown by Chief Pilot Shane Engelauf made over 80 water drops on the fire.