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Cowbell Fire

Unit Information

Big Cypress National Preserve
National Park Service
Florida
Ochopee, FL 34141

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This incident is no longer being updated.

The Type 4 IMT is now managing the Parliament, MM87 and Big Grapefruit Fires in addition to the Cowbell Fire.

The Cowbell Fire Started March 30, 2017 at approximately 4:01 PM and is burning within Big Cypress National Preserve 30 miles northeast of Ochopee, FL, the cause is under investigation. The Cowbell Fire is 21,963 acres and 87% contained. Observed fire behavior is minimal with some creeping, smoldering and re-burn in needle cast. There are 25 single residences and 40 other minor structures threatened, private landowners are kept abreast of fire activity potential and structure protection is in place. The forecast into early next week shows a more consistent, wetter pattern setting up. Relative humidity should remain fairly high with dispersion remaining on the lower side along with daily afternoon thunderstorms developing over the fire area. Ground resources will be used in the protection of private property and residences within the preserve boundary while air resources will continue to monitor lines for spots, slop overs, and use bucket drops to cool any activity that threatens the line. The anticipated incident containment date is June 15, 2017. The foot print of the fire remains closed to the public form Nobles Grade to ADD 17 trail. However, the Florida Trail north of I-75 will reopen to the public Saturday June 3, 2017 at 12:01 AM

The Parliament Fire started March 18, 2017 at approximately 4:56 PM and is burning in Big Cypress National Preserve 5 miles northeast of Ochopee, FL, the cause of the fire is human. The fire is estimated at 26,471 acres and 95% contained. Observed fire behavior is minimal with some creeping and smoldering. The forecast into early next week shows a more consistent, wetter pattern setting up. Relative humidity should remain fairly high with dispersion remaining on the lower side along with daily afternoon thunderstorms developing over the fire area. Resources continue to monitor the fire with aerial resources as needed. The anticipated incident containment date is June 17, 2017.

The MM87 Fire is burning in Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, the cause is unknown. The Fire is 516 acres and 85% contained, resources are monitoring the fire as needed.

The Big Grapefruit Fire started May 9, 2017 and is burning in Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, the cause of the fire is lightning. The Fire is .5 acres and uncontained, resources are monitoring the fire as needed.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnknown
Date of OriginThursday March 30th, 2017 approx. 04:01 PM
Location30 miles northeast of Ochopee FL
Incident CommanderBob Airhart ICT4
Coordinates26.221 latitude, -80.978 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel76
Size21,963 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained87%
Fuels Involved

Primary fuels consist of grass (GR4, GR5), southern rough (SH8) and timber litter (TL8). Current heavy loading of fuel conditions are favorable for very active fire behavior within the grass and shrub fuels. The current drought conditions have led both live and dead fuel moistures to reach areas of concern. Expect all fuels to burn readily, including those that appear green.

Significant Events

Minimal, creeping, smoldering, re-burn in needle cast

Outlook

Planned Actions

1.Ground resources will be used in the protection of private property and residences within the preserve boundary.

2. Air resources will continue to monitor lines for spots, slop overs and use bucket drops to cool any activity that threatens the line.

Projected Incident Activity

Smoldering heavy fuels, creeping in compost fuels, open flame/re-burn in needle cast.

Remarks

The foot print of the Cowbell Fire remains closed to the public from Nobles Grade to ADD 17 trail.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

The forecast into next week shows a more consistent, wetter pattern setting up. Relative humidity should remain fairly high with dispersion remaining on the lower side along with daily afternoon thunderstorms developing over the fire area.