Two of the largest brush fires in Golden Gates Estates are at an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 acres combined and have forced evacuations in several neighborhoods and the closure of I-75.
The 36th Avenue SE fire is at 2,500 acres, and the 22nd Avenue SE fire is at least 1,500 acres.
There is zero percent containment at either fire, according to officials. Three helicopters are dropping water.
Interstate 75 has been closed from SR-29 to CR-951/Collier Blvd. Officials said Wednesday night the fire jumped the interstate and is now burning on the south side, forcing evacuations around the Forest Glen neighborhood.
Blowing embers from these fires have caused several others in the area.
Greater Naples Fire has reported “several” structures have been lost or damaged, but they could not say how many.
Crews are working another brush fire east of Keane Avenue in Golden Gate Estates.
Homes along 34th Avenue SW, 36th Avenue SE and 38th Avenue SE have been evacuated.
There is a voluntary evacuation order for the following area: east of Collier Blvd., west of Garland Rd., south of Brantley Blvd., and north of Beck Blvd.
There is a voluntary evacuation for the Forest Glen area due to high fire danger.
There is a voluntary evacuation order for streets on the west side of Everglades Blvd. from 18th Ave. SE to 40th Ave. SE.
There are two fires burning south of Keane Ave. and there is a voluntary evacuation order for all streets south of Keane.
There is a shelter open at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy.
A primary citizen contact and reunification center has been established at Max Hasse Park, 3390 Golden Gate Blvd. W. Meals and water are available at that location.
A citizen contact center has also been set up for affected residents at 40th Avenue SE and Everglades Blvd. Residents can access this area from I-75 at the Everglades Blvd. overpass.
The Collier County Fairgrounds said it is opening up its parking lots for people who need a place for trailers and other vehicles.
Westbound lanes of I-75 are closed at mile marker 80 and drivers are detouring at SR-29. Eastbound lanes are closed at mile marker 101, with a detour at CR-951.
The fire jumped the interstate Wednesday afternoon and is now burning on the south side.
Everglades Blvd. is open up to 16th Avenue SE. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is calling this a “dangerous situation” and asks drivers to avoid the area.
Everglades Blvd. south of Golden Gate Blvd. is open to local traffic only.
The sheriff’s office said if you have proof of residence for one of the affected streets, deputies are letting some drivers through to tend to pets, livestock and other family members who might be in the area.
Trust WINK News for updates.
— Melanie Cusano (@CusanoSusan) May 13, 2020
(Credit: Wayne Leinen, Jr./commercial pilot, Naples)
Driving down I-75 interstate Golden gate estates, Florida forest burned down. It hurts to see our nature go down like this. pic.twitter.com/2liXOUbGiw
— hanna maria (@hannaveraa) May 13, 2020
— Juan Pablo Melo Gonz (@Juan_Pa_86) May 13, 2020