A fire at the Panther National Wildlife Refuge has been raging, burning trees and brush. Drivers on I-75 may have seen the billowing smoke from the highway.
This was not a prescribed burn. A recent thunderstorm with intense lightning caused the large wildfire at the Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Cass Palmer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the fire is 50% contained, and holding at 2,500 acres.
CassPalmer says, “The crew has done a great job managing the fire and keeping smoke from impacting the interstate.” Smoke volume is being monitored carefully to ensure that driving visibility on I-75 does not become hazardous.
Bobby Schat with the Panther National Wildlife Refuge is the incident commander for the fire. Additional crews are helping to contain the wildfire, from the Florida Forest Service, Big Cypress Preserve and the Seminole Tribes.
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