A wildfire north of Alligator Alley is now 10 percent contained, according to fire officials.
The fire, which is on the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge property, was measured at about 300 acres, according to the Florida Forest Service.
A separate but related fire south of Interstate 75 had been 100 percent contained as of 8 p.m. and remained at 30 acres.
The Florida Highway Patrol is monitoring road conditions but says the interstate remains open and visibility is good.
A fire on the north side of the interstate in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge had swelled from 50 acres to an estimated “300 or 400 acres,” said Florida Forest Service spokesman Victor Hill.
As of 6:45 p.m., the fire on the south side of Interstate 75 in the Picayune Strand State Forest was about 25 to 30 acres and 70 percent contained.
Embers from a fire on the south side of Alligator Alley have crossed the interstate, causing a separate fire to start on the north side of Interstate 75, according to a Florida Forest Service official.
Spokesman Victor Hill said the second fire had spread to about 50 acres of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge as of 6:30 p.m. Fires are now burning on both sides of the interstate, with the first fire still at 25 acres and 40 percent containment.
Hill said visibility still appeared to be good on the interstate.
Investigators believe the fire was caused by a spot that flared up after a lightning strike touched down in the Picayune Strand State Forest about three weeks ago, according to Hill.
A brush fire in Picayune Strand State Forest near Alligator Alley has grown to about 25 acres, according to a Florida Forest Service official.
Spokesman Victor Hill said the fire started around 3:30 p.m. in the northeast section of the forest. As of 5:45 p.m., the fire was about 40 percent contained.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, Hill said.
The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting a “controlled burn” near mile marker 89 on Interstate 75. According to the department’s website, the interstate remains clear to traffic, but Hill warned drivers that smoke could be a problem if the fire continues to grow.
Lt. Greg Bueno said the FHP is posting signs about the smoke, but visibility is not affected at this time.