Wildfires Burning in Southwest Florida
Multiple wildfires broke out in South Florida on Wednesday east of Naples, merging into one large fire as of Thursday.
**DEVELOPING** Multiple wildfires east of Naples, FL, in Collier County have burned in total at least 4,000 acres with no containment as of early Thursday morning. Mandatory evacuations remain in place as firefighters battle the blazes. #flwx #22ndAveFire #36thAveFire pic.twitter.com/7bF101RIt9
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) May 14, 2020
Very dry conditions and gusty winds have made it difficult for firefighters to increase containment numbers. As of late Thursday evening, the fire was only at 10% containment with at least 8,500 acres burned in this area.
#wildfire risk map update: @FFS_cafc advises all three counties continue to remain under a burn ban. Please exercise caution when outdoors. For more information – https://t.co/qAZsEckojg … … … … #LeeCounty #HendryCounty #CollierCounty #OnlyYou #FPfromhome pic.twitter.com/FccU6AlviU
— FFS Caloosahatchee (@FFS_cafc) May 11, 2020
Cities west of the wildfire including Naples, FL, will experience poor air quality from smoke that is blowing in from the east. Make sure to limit your time outdoors especially if you have any respiratory illnesses.
Windy conditions will pose a concern for both spreading and creating new wildfires over the next couple of days, with sustained winds between 15-20 miles per hour with higher gusts.
The lack of rain in the forecast will also be worrisome as dry conditions will persist through the weekend. Some rain will be nearby on Friday, hopefully close enough to bring some relief to this fire-stricken location.
This is not the only wildfire burning in the Sunshine State, and with current drought conditions continuing it will take several good rain events to help ease the increased fire danger.
We were able to speak with Melinda Avni from the Florida Forest Service to get the latest on the wildfires both in South Florida and across the state.