GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. Crews continue to battle a 5,531-acre brush fire near Everglades Boulevard and 30th Ave SE on Saturday.
The blaze, which sparked Thursday afternoon, was 20 percent contained as of Saturday afternoon. Nine homes were destroyed on Friday evening and mandatory evacuations of approximately 7,000 homes remain in place.
Those seeking further fire information can contact Collier County officials at 239-252-8444, or 311 for Collier residents.
Below is the latest information as it comes into the WINK newsroom:
The Florida Forest Service, Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, and local first responders will be monitoring the fire throughout the night, fire officials said.
“With the rains, we are cautiously optimistic of getting ahead of the wildfire and increasing containment through the nighttime hours,” said John Kern, incident commander for the Florida Forest Service Interagency Incident Management Green Team.
Reduced visibility on nearby roads is a possibility with the increased humidity and low winds overnight, the Florida Forest Service said. Motorists are urged to use caution if they encounter fog or smoke.
The Florida Forest Service offers the following tips for when smoke covers the road:
- Slow down
- Use windshield wipers in heavy fog
- Turn on your low-beam headlights
- If the fog or smoke becomes so thick that you cannot see well enough to keep driving, pull all the way off thepavement and stop. Turn on your emergency flashers.
Gov. Rick Scott gave a press conference at the Collier County Emergency Management Center in Naples:
Mandatory evacuations remain in place for the south side of Golden Gate Boulevard, south to Interstate 75 and from Collier Boulevard east to Wilson Boulevard, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
An evacuation shelter is open at North Collier Regional Park located at 15000 Livingston Road in Naples.
A voluntary evacuation is in place for homes south of Golden Gate Parkway from Tropicana Boulevard east to Collier Boulevard in Golden Gate City, fire officials said.
Below is an updated evacuation map:
Gov. Scott provided updates on recent Southwest Florida brush fires includong Collier County. WINK News streamed the press conference live on Facebook.
Deputies will continue to assist residents who would like to retrieve personal items from their homes.
Deputies are continuing to assist those residents who desire to return to their homes to retrieve personal items, medications and pets.
— CollierCountySheriff (@CollierSheriff) April 22, 2017
There is a five mile temporary flight restriction, including drones, around 30th Avenue South.
Notice from Air Operations: There is a 5 mile temporary flight restriction around #30thAveFire. This includes drones.
— Caloosahatchee FC (@FFS_cafc) April 22, 2017
WINK News reporter Jessica Alpern went live on Facebook where fire officials gave a press conference with the latest updates on the Golden Gate Estates fire:
The Trump administration approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant to the state of Florida, allowing the use of federal funds to reimburse response costs to fight the brush fire in Collier County.
“We are grateful to President Trump for recognizing the need for federal funding to fight these fires. Our firefighters and first responders are bravely on the front lines, and federal assistance to support them is critical. We will continue to support Governor Scott, the County Commission, and other local officials in any way we are able to. We are extremely proud of our firefighters and first responders, and are confident in their capabilities to control this blaze,” Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart and Francis Rooney said in a statement.