FHP reopens I-75 and SR 29 after closing from fog and smoke

Corey Perrine/Staff
A wall of flames nearly touches the highway as motorist pass at State Road 29 and I-75 southbound, while a forest fire is seen burning in Big Cypress National Preserve, Collier County Saturday, March 30, 2013.

Photo by COREY PERRINE, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Corey Perrine/Staff A wall of flames nearly touches the highway as motorist pass at State Road 29 and I-75 southbound, while a forest fire is seen burning in Big Cypress National Preserve, Collier County Saturday, March 30, 2013.

Video from NBC-2

UPDATE:

Crews have contained 45 percent of a 20,000-acre brush fire in Big Cypress National Preserve as of Tuesday afternoon.

While the cause of the fire remains unknown, Ryan Stubblebine, a spokesman with the preserve, said it began north of the Fire Prairie Trail along Turner River Road. It continues to burn within the boundaries of State Road 29 to the west and Alligator Alley to the north.

Stubblebine said 64 firefighting personnel from Florida and Virginia are working to knock down the fire. Winds are expected to be light today, which could help them in their efforts, according to a press release.

EARLIER:

Interstate 75's Alligator Alley and State Road 29 in Collier County have been reopened, the Florida Highway Patrol reports.

EARLIER:

FHP closes I-75 and SR 29 again Tuesday because of fog and smoke

A combination of smoke from a wildfire and fog have closed the Alligator Alley section of Interstate 75 and State Road 29 in Collier County for the second consecutive weekday morning.

Just before 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol announced the closing of the I-75 east-west section across the state from mile marker 101 in Collier to mile marker 23 at U.S. 27 in Broward County because of severely limited visibility. State Road 29 between U.S. 41 East and Oil Well Road also has been closed, the FHP reports.

The roadway visibility issue has been intermittent in this area since a large wildfire began Friday afternoon and grew to about 20,000 acres Monday in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Morning fog exacerbates the issue.

A dense fog advisory remains in effect until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Fog and wildfire smoke is reducing visibility below one-quarter of a mile at times in some areas, the National Weather Service reports.

“The fog is interacting with Huckabee wildfire causing visibility issues between mile markers 85 and 75,” said FHP Master Sgt. Daniel W. Taylor. “Updates will be sent out as needed. Drivers are reminded to drive with due care when encountering areas of low visibility.”

An eastbound alternate route of travel is south on Collier Boulevard from I-75’s exit 101 to eastbound U.S. 41. Westbound motorists should detour south on U.S. 27 to State Road 997 (Krome Avenue), then south on Krome to westbound U.S. 41, the FHP reports.

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