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Cowbell Fire

Unit Information

Big Cypress National Preserve
National Park Service
Ochopee, FL 34141

NPS Shield

Cowbell Update 041617

Cowbell Fire Wildfire
News – 4/16/2017

Sunday April 16, 2017 10 a.m.

FAST FACTS: The Cowbell Fire is currently 17,872 acres and 50% contained, with 294 personnel assigned. Equipment resources include seven helicopters, two single engine air tankers and 24 engines.

Current fire situation: Crews successfully completed strategic firing operations along the northern preserve boundary with the Seminole Tribe of Florida yesterday, as well as the western portion of the fire. Movement of Friday’s spot fire near the Kissimmee Billy Strand was minimal. On the east and south sides, crews continued patrolling, mopping up and monitoring. Due to higher relative humidity and partly cloudy skies yesterday, fire growth was minimal and fire behavior was moderate.

Planned action: Crews will continue to patrol and secure containment lines to the east, as well as along I-75 to the south. They also will patrol the spot over near the Kissimmee Billy Strand, as well as mop up and secure containment lines along the northern boundary with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Aviation resources will conduct strategic water drops as needed. Resources also are available to respond to any new wildfires in the preserve and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

Fire weather: A Bermuda high will remain through the beginning of the week, keeping the general wind direction easterly through Tuesday. Wind speeds will be 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. The minimum relative humidity will be around 40 percent. High temperatures will run in the mid to upper 80s with lows around 60. A slight chance of isolated showers will continue through Monday.

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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