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Environment

Everglades Fire Burns 17,000 Acres

A burning wildfire off in the distance
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
A burning wildfire off in the distance

A lightning strike started a 17,000-acre wildfire in the eastern Everglades that threatened Monday to cause smoky conditions on Interstate 75 through Alligator Alley, according to the Florida Forest Service. 

Firefighters were monitoring and patrolling, but the forest service said suppression efforts were hampered because of the remote location of the blaze, which was in west-central Broward County.

The fire started Sunday evening about one mile north of Interstate 75 and four miles west of U.S. 27, the forest service said.

No buildings were threated Monday afternoon. Interstate 75 remained open, but the forest service said shifting winds were expected to cause smoke to affect the road and surrounding areas.

“Wildfires can strengthen quickly and threaten public safety --- drivers traveling along Alligator Alley should monitor media for safety alerts and the status of I-75, and follow guidelines from state and local officials,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, whose Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services includes the forest service.