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4,000 acre wildfires force evacuation order in Collier County

High winds and low humidity are fueling wildfires across the state.

The Florida Forest Service is battling multiple wildfires in Collier County, two of which total 4,000 acres and remain 0% contained.

The two wildfires, termed as the 22ndAveFire and the 36thAveFire, broke out Tuesday afternoon on the western edge of the Florida Everglades. The 22ndAveFire is estimated to be as large as 1,500 acres while the 36thAveFire is estimated at roughly 2,500 acres.

Officials said no information is currently available on threatened or destroyed structures.

Fire officials said the fires and others across the state are being fueled by high winds and low humidity conditions.

“These are extremely dangerous and fast-moving wildfires that can change rapidly, so everyone in the affected area should follow directions from state and local officials,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried

In response, the Florida Forest Service has deployed three single-engine air tankers, two helicopters, and one fixed-wing aircraft to the area to supplement local fire crews.

Residents and motorists are being asked to remain clear of the area.

Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for areas east of the Collier landfill and Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley) is closed between mile markers 80 and 101.

“All residents and travelers should heed evacuation orders and closely monitor the media for updates on the wildfire and the status of I-75 and local roads,” Fried said. “We thank our brave local and wildland firefighters for working swiftly to control this wildfire.”

There are currently 73 active wildfires totaling 10,000 acres across the state. Last week, the Florida Forest Service and local fire crews from across the state battled two fires including the 2,000 acres Five Mile Swamp Fire in Santa Rosa County.

An arrest was made Tuesday in connection to the Mussett Bayou wildfire that destroyed 59 homes and 343 acres of wildlands in Walton County.

This story has been updated. For more information, read here.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capitol for Florida Politics. After his time with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studies Political Science & American Policy. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. You can reach Jason at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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