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Collier Wildfire Updates and South Florida's Dangerous Fire Conditions

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A wildfire burning through Collier County has grown to more than 6,500 acres, threatening homes, closing roads, and causing mandatory evacuations.

Billowing smoke clouds from the burning Picayune Strand State Forest have forced the closure of numerous roads, including the major I-75 artery between mile marker 80 through 105, which remained closed to traffic Wednesday. The Red Cross says more than 20 people sought shelter at a Golden Gate community center overnight as acrid smoke blanketed the area.

As of midday, the Lee Williams Road Fire was roughly 30 percent contained, evacuation orders remained in place, and intermittent road closures continued.

Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on Gulf Coast Live, Kate Albers with Collier County provides the latest on the fire's spread and updates on containment efforts.

Also joining the program is Jack Morgan, interim Executive Director of American Red Cross, Florida Southern Gulf region, based in Naples.

Describing the weather conditions that led to the fire, and how the weather will impact fire conditions in the days to come, is Rob Duns, NBC-2 First Alert Meteorologist.

Also joining the program to discuss recent fires in Lee County is Susan Lindenmuth with Estero Fire Rescue.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.