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Cowbell Fire

Unit Information

Big Cypress National Preserve
National Park Service
Ochopee, FL 34141

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Cowbell Fire Update April 15, 2017

Cowbell Fire Wildfire
News – 4/15/2017

Saturday April 15, 2017 11 a.m.

FAST FACTS: The Cowbell Fire is currently 17,594 acres and 50% contained, with 294 personnel assigned. Equipment resources include seven helicopters, two single engine air tankers and 22 engines.

Current fire situation: Yesterday, an increase in fire activity within containment lines caused a spot fire west of Nobles Grade. As a result, the overall acreage of the fire increased by 636 acres. On the east and south sides of the fire, crews continued mopping up and the structural protection crew finished removing equipment originally placed to safeguard the Sanctuary community.

Planned action: Strategic firing operations will continue today to the north and west of the fire to keep the fire contained east of Kissimmee Billy Strand and south of the Big Cypress Preserve boundary. Mop up operations will continue to protect containment lines. Aviation resources will conduct strategic water drops as needed to slow the fire’s growth. Resources also are available to respond to any new wildfires in the preserve and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

Fire weather: Expect mostly sunny skies with drier warmer weather. Relative humidity will be in the 40s. High temperatures will reach the mid-80s. A slight chance of showers will continue through early next week.

Cooperators: National Park Service, Big Cypress National Preserve, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Forest Service, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Florida Highway Patrol and Collier County (Florida) Office of Emergency Management.

Restrictions and closures: The following closures remain in place in Big Cypress National Preserve:

  • Pink Jeep, Bear Island and Gator Head Campgrounds
  • The road leading into the Sanctuary, except to residents
  • All trails between State Road 29, L-28 Canal and north of I-75, including that section of the Florida Trail
  • All public lands west of the L-28 Canal, north of Alligator Alley and east of State Road 29

The following adjacent areas will remain open:

  • Private lands in the designated closure area shall remain open; residents should use caution.

These areas are closed to all recreational use, including off-road vehicles (ORVs), hiking, camping and commercial activities due to safety concerns related to wildfires in the area.

Portions of the preserve, including Monument Lake and Burns Lake Campgrounds and some trails remain closed due to the Parliament Fire. A temporary flight restriction remains in place over the Cowbell Fire. Additional information: For more information, please call 305-204-6659 or email Follow us on InciWeb at, Facebook at or Twitter at

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