Blaze that closed Everglades highway brought under control
March 15, 1999
NAPLES, Florida (CNN) -- A raging brush fire that damaged about 10 homes, injured three firefighters and closed Interstate 75 across the Florida Everglades was under control early Monday, authorities said.
The road, known as Alligator Alley, reopened Sunday evening.
Officials had recommended the evacuation of 250 homes in northeast Collier County, near Naples. But by nightfall, Sheriff's Department spokesman Alan Flanagan said, "We're wrapping everything up pretty much. We had a bunch of rain come through, so it's pretty much suppressed."
About 10 buildings in Collier County were damaged by the fire, including trailers and homes, Flanagan said. Firefighters are being kept in the area overnight, "just in case it flares again tomorrow."
The fire, which was reported at 12:45 p.m., consumed more than 1,500 acres.
The firefighters suffered second-degree burns when the blaze, whipped by winds up to 30 miles per hour, trapped them.
Although Alligator Alley is best known for its path through the swampy Everglades, the portion where the fire was is dry and heavy with scrub pines. Last year, wildfires fed by similar conditions destroyed thousands of acres in east-central Florida
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