Uncontained fire’s smoke may impact I-75 travel along Alligator Alley
The Florida Forest Service is currently battling a 17,000-acre wildfire in the eastern Florida Everglades in west-central Broward County, smoke from which may impact I-75 through Alligator Alley.
Florida Forest Service officials confirmed that lightning started the wildfire on the evening of Sunday, June 23, approximately 1 mile north of I-75 and 4 miles west of U.S. Highway 27. As of 4:00 PM ET, the #SawgrassFire is currently burning over 17,000 acres, and is 0 percent contained. Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters are actively monitoring and patrolling the fire; however, suppression efforts are impeded by the remote location of the wildfire. No structures are threatened at this time.
Photo courtesy of the Florida Forest Service
At this time, I-75 remains open per the Florida Highway Patrol, but smoke is expected to impact I-75 and surrounding areas as winds have shifted out of the northeast. As nightfall approaches, smoke may settle along roadways and within communities.
“Wildfires can strengthen quickly and threaten public safety — drivers traveling along Alligator Alley should monitor media for safety alerts and the status of I-75, and follow guidelines from state and local officials,” said Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried, whose Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services includes the Florida Forest Service. “We’re thankful for our brave Forest Service wildland firefighters working around the clock to combat this fire, and to protect lives, property, and our state.”
“Motorists and residents in the area should exercise caution by slowing down, turning on their headlights, and watching for emergency vehicles,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service.
The #SawgrassFire’s location within west-central Broward County
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests in Florida. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.