Officials say lightning caused several fires still burning across SWFL

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Flor Linares

Fire officials say lightning sparked three wildfires in SWFL that continue to burn as of Sunday.

Authorities say the Flag Pond, Greenway and 116th Ave SE fires were started when lightning struck the already-dry earth.


Across Collier County, several fires continue to burn thousands of acres of dry brush. Residents in the area can easily see smoke billowing out just over the tree lines in their neighborhoods.

The Flag Pond and Greenway fires are burning just south of Alligator Alley.

At last check, officials from Greater Naples Fire Rescue say the Greenway fire is about 6,300 acres and around 10 percent contained.

They say their main concern is protecting the Verona Walk and Winding Cypress communities close to where the fire is burning.

Fire officials say the Flag Pond fire nearby is about 2,600 acres and around 100 percent contained.

Kathy Gallion lives in the housing development just East of Collier Boulevard. For days, people who live there have dealt with smoke from both the Flag Pond fire and the Greenway fire.

“In the evenings, at nighttime, you can smell the smoke really really bad. And it’s been starting to fall on the cars—he soot and everything that’s been coming down, and it’s been falling all over the cars,” Gallion said.

Fire officials say they are keeping an eye on hot spots. This year’s dry conditions have homeowners in rural Collier concerned—because some of them remember last year’s destructive fires.

“It came pretty close last year—a couple of miles,” said resident Robert Jones. “We got a lot of soot and ash. And I hope we don’t do that again this year.”

If wind conditions remain the same, crews say the outlook for East Collier communities are “favorable.”

The Caloosahatchee Forestry Center says the cause for these wildfires is lightning.

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