Portion of U.S. 41 reopens as brush fire burns

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OCHOPEE, Fla. A lengthy stretch of U.S. 41 reopened Wednesday afternoon in Collier County and Miami-Dade counties due to smoke in the area, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The 58-mile shutdown went from State Road 29 in Collier to Krome Avenue in Miami-Dade, according to the FHP. It closed just after 4:15 a.m.

A fire burning in the Big Cypress National Preserve closed the same stretch of road for several hours Tuesday.

The size of that fire was estimated at slightly more than 11,000 acres Tuesday afternoon, the National Park Service said. It was 15 percent contained and forced the closure of the Burns Lake Road, Monument Lake Campground, Burns Lake Campground, and multiple trails.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

State troopers provided guidelines for driving near an area with limited visibility:

  • Drive with your low beams on
  • Don’t speed
  • Watch out for slow-moving or parked vehicles
  • Avoid distractions like the radio or using a cellphone
  • Use wipers and defrosters
  • Follow the lines on the road
  • Be patient
  • Signal turns and brake in advance when approaching a stop
  • Don’t stop on a freeway or busy road. Use your turn signal to pull off the road and turn your hazard lights on.

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