(UPDATED at 1:37 p.m. EDT May 15, 2020)
The Florida Forest Service Green Incident Management Team assumed command of the 36th Ave SE Fire at 7 a.m. today. The team reports the latest size of the fire is 8,500 acres.
Mandatory evacuations are still in place on both sides of Alligator Alley (Interstate 75). Friday morning, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office gave an update on the situation, saying no additional evacuations are expected today those in effect will remain throughout the day.
Currently, the FFS has 16 tractor/plow units from around the state battling the blaze, along with 3 single engine air tankers, 1 fixed wing aircraft, and 4 helicopters, including the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Air Rescue 1 which is assisting with water drops.
A large air tanker out of Lake City, Florida an MD-87, is also being used. Yesterday the aircraft completed four sorties to the fire — each time dropping 4,000 gallons.
(UPDATED at 6:25 p.m. EDT May 14, 2020)
The two wildfires 10 to 12 miles east of Naples, Florida have merged and by 4 p.m. EDT Thursday had grown to about 8,000 acres according to the Florida Forest Service (FFS). The fire is now known as the 36th Ave. SE Fire.
The FFS is working in unified command with local fire and emergency responders, including the Greater Naples Fire Rescue, North Collier Fire Rescue, Marco Island Fire Rescue, Collier County Emergency Management, Collier County Sheriff’s Office and many others. Currently, the FFS has 16 tractor/plow units battling the blaze, along with 3 single engine air tankers, 1 fixed wing aircraft, and 3 helicopters, including the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Air Rescue 1, which is assisting with water drops.
Additional FFS resources have been deployed, including the Green Incident Management Team, a dozer strike team from Northeast Florida, and 2 dozer strike teams which are en route from the Five Mile Swamp Fire in the Panhandle. The Florida Fire Chiefs Association is securing resources to provide additional structure protection.
Details about evacuations can be found at the Facebook page for Collier County Emergency Management.
Currently, there are 80 active wildfires burning nearly 16,000 acres in Florida. Last week, the Florida Forest Service battled the 2,000-acre #5MileSwamp Fire in Santa Rosa County and the #MussettBayouFire in Walton County, in which an arrest was announced on Tuesday.
— Fire Aviation (@FireAviation) May 14, 2020
(Originally published at 1 p.m. EDT May 14, 2020)
Two wildfires about 12 miles east of Naples, Florida have prompted mandatory evacuations and closed parts of Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley). Named 22nd Ave. SE Fire and 36th Ave. SE Fire, the two blazes merged Wednesday night and have burned approximately 4,000 acres according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in a Wednesday evening update. That night, pushed by winds described as moderate, the fire spread south across the Interstate requiring additional evacuations.
The fire behavior was described as extreme and burning embers were causing spot fires. Greater Naples Fire reported “several” structures have been lost or damaged, but they did not have an exact number.
At 1 p.m. EDT Thursday Interstate 75 was still closed between Highway 29 and Collier Blvd.
The Florida Forest Service has mobilized the Green Incident Management Team to assist local firefighters.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Rob. Typos or errors, report them HERE.