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Big Cypress National Preserve issues temporary area closures

Cypress Camp Trail Fire-Big Cypress National Preserve
Special to WGCU
A section of the Big Cypress National Preserve will be closed off for a prescribed fire. These intentionally set blazes are used to hopefully prevent out-of-control wildfires like the one above at the Big Cypress National Preserve from last year.

OCHOPEE, FL – Big Cypress National Preserve has issued a temporary closure to promote visitor safety during prescribed fire activity beginning Monday.

During the closure all recreational use including off-road vehicles, hiking, camping, hunting and commercial activities are prohibited in the designated areas.

Prescribed fire is a carefully planned fire that uses fire science and specific environmental conditions to meet management goals for the preserve. A prescribed fire is one of Big Cypress’s best tools to help create a mosaic of diverse habitats, manage for our endangered species, and reduce the threat of a destructive wildfire.

Please refer to the provided map and area description below, temporary closures include the following areas:

  • Florida National Scenic Trail South of I-75 and North of US-41 (see map), Raccoon Point CDU, Raccoon Point TRU, West Raccoon, 827-10 Poppenhagar, Lost Dog 1, Lost Dog 2, Oasis Trail (North of CDU 10), CDUs number 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 32 NW ext, 32 NW, 32 NE 32 Bypass, 35 W, 38, 39, 40, 40 S, 40 N, 41, 41 W, TRU 74, all areas within the treatment perimeter.

The following adjacent areas will remain open:

  • Private lands in the designated area; residents should use caution and notify the Fire Duty Officer of entry by calling 561-923-5228. 

Fire personnel anticipate 3-5 days of ignition operations and typically determine an area safe for reentry 2-4 days after ignitions are complete.
Big Cypress Fire and Aviation will make a determination after ignitions are complete on when to lift the closure.

The public will be advised of the implementation and subsequent termination of this closure by web alert, and by the posting of signs in the appropriate areas.

If a longer closure is required, due to additional fire activity, an additional press release will be issued immediately.

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