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Wildfire closes part of Big Cypress National Preserve

The area of the Turner River wildfire is shown in red. (NPS map)

An estimated 1,000-acre wildfire has forced the temporary closure of a section of Big Cypress National Preserve.

The fire, which was declared on March 14, is east of SR 29 and Birdon Road, west of Turner River Road and north of U.S. 41’s mile markers 70-72.

According to the National Park Service, the Turner River wildfire ignited from a spot fire during prescribed burn operations. NPS said the fire is burning in cypress, grass and pine.

“Suppression actions were immediately taken; however fire behavior was resistant to all suppression attempts.  As the fire spread and continued active fire behavior was seen, the decision was made to declare a wildfire,” the NPS stated in a news release.

Personnel from South Florida Parks and Preserve Fire & Aviation Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are involved in the suppression efforts.

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

The areas closed include:

  • Burns Lake Campground
  • Upper Wagonwheel
  • Lower Wagonwheel
  • Birdon Road
  • Turner River Road (US 41 to Fire Prairie Trail)
  • Fire Prairie Trail
  • Bass Lake Road
  • Burns Lake Road
  • Burns Lake South
  • Windmill Tram
  • Concho (west of Burns Lake North trail and ORV 61)
  • Pine Oaks Road
  • TRU 16
  • TRU 64
  • TRU 17
  • TRU 14
  • TRU 11SE
  • TRU 62
  • TRU 62E
  • Bass Lake 1
  • Bass Lake 2
  • Bass Lake 3
  • Bass Lake 4

Private lands adjacent to closure areas remain open.