US Forestry asks that Tamiami Trail be closed for several hours due to fire

Fire burning in Big Cypress Preserve

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Forest Service asked Tuesday afternoon that a portion of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) be closed for several hours because of a fire in the Big Cypress Preserve in Collier County.

Authorities closed Tamiami Trail, between State Road 29 and Krome Avenue, about 2:30 p.m. The closure is expected to last for several hours, but is contingent on visibility conditions.

The road reopened later in the evening. 

Authorities said the road closure is necessary for firefighters to "establish a burnout" along Tamiami Trail and to move around fire equipment.

Residents who live in the area will be allowed to travel through the road-closure area as long as they provide authorities with proper identification showing their addresses.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Gregory S. Bueno said drivers are asked to avoid U.S. 41, but Interstate 75 remains open and can be used as an alternate route.

Troopers will continue to monitor driving conditions in the area throughout the day.

According to the National Park Service, the Parliament Fire, which was first reported Saturday night just north of Burns Lake Campground, has spread to 3,300 acres.

The fire is burning as mixture of grass, pine and cypress habitat, the National Park Service said.

"Firefighters are using both natural and human made barriers to contain the fire's spread," Big Cypress Superintendent Tamara Whittington said in a statement. "Big Cypress National Preserve has one of the most active fire management programs in the National Park Service.

"Fire is an essential component of the Big Cypress ecosystem. In the long term, the fire will benefit the ecosystem by renewing habitat and promoting ecological diversity."

The National Park Service has requested help from county, state and federal agencies to contain the fire.

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