The Florida Forrest Service announced Sunday that fire crews will continue to strengthen and create new containment lines against the 36th AVE SE Fire in Collier County.
As of Sunday morning, the blaze remains at 8,663 acres and 40% containment.
At least seven homes and 23 structures have been destroyed since the fire broke out Wednesday, Greater Naples Fire Rescue District Chief Kingman Schuldt said during a news conference Friday.
The more than 146 personnel devoted to fighting the fire will also work to mop up on hot spots that continue to smoke and smolder.
Florida Forest Service Green Incident Management Team personnel and local agencies at this morning’s briefing to discuss today’s operational plan for #36thAveSEFire @FLForestService @CollierSheriff @CollierPIO @CollierEM @NCFRPio @MarcoIslandFire @GN_Fire pic.twitter.com/4foTSltJIV
— FFS Caloosahatchee (@FFS_cafc) May 17, 2020
Ground crews will be aided overhead with a fixed-wing aircraft named Air Attack, who will patrol the area from above and monitor the fire’s behavior.
Additional support from the sky will be provided by two Florida Forrest Service helicopters and one Collier County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. Another contracted helicopter is available if needed.
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis announced Friday seven fire strike teams from across the state will deploy to assist local firefighters in Collier County.
The Florida Forest Service and local fire crews had struggled throughout the week to battle the blaze. Fueled by high winds and low humidity, the blaze strengthened into the weekend, prompting mandatory evacuation orders.
All mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Friday by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
There are 88 active wildfires consuming over 15,266 acres across the state.