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Everglades wildfire consumes more than 32,000 acres. Alligator Alley briefly shut down

Aerial footage of 6,500-acre Florida wildfire

About 25 miles of Interstate 75 along the western end of Alligator Alley were shut down in March 2017 due to a massive Collier County brush fire that forced some Southwest Florida residents to spend the night in shelters.
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About 25 miles of Interstate 75 along the western end of Alligator Alley were shut down in March 2017 due to a massive Collier County brush fire that forced some Southwest Florida residents to spend the night in shelters.

A wildfire sparked by lightning continued on a destructive path through the Everglades Tuesday, resulting in a total of more than 33,000 acres burned.

By Tuesday afternoon, the #SawgrassFire, which is located eight miles west of Weston, was only 40 percent contained, the Florida Forest Service said. It has been going strong since Sunday night.

The shifting wind forced a brief closure of Alligator Alley between mile marker 80 and mile marker 23 (US-27) in both directions at around 5 p.m. , according to the Florida Highway Patrol. But rain helped the smoke dissipate the road reopened shortly after.

The forest service shared photos of the billowing smoke Tuesday afternoon.

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A wildfire had consumed more than 32,000 of the Everglades in western Broward as of June 25,2019. Florida Forrest Service

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Tuesday that the Florida Forest Service had two fire engines, two trucks, one fixed-wing aircraft, and seven Forest Service wildland firefighters battling the blaze.

“No structures are threatened at this time,” the department said in a news release.

On Monday, there were concerns that the wind direction would send smoke to nearby highways. The fire is one mile north of Interstate 75 and four miles west of U.S. Highway 27.

The fire service said as of 5 p.m. the fire was “approaching I-75 near mile marker 35.”

“Wildfires can strengthen quickly and threaten public safety — drivers traveling along Alligator Alley should remain vigilant, monitor media for safety alerts and the status of I-75, and follow guidelines from state and local officials,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nicole “Nikki” Fried in a news release. “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.”

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