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Containment of the Sandy Wildfire grows as an evacuation plan is rolled back

 A helicopter dumps water on a hot spot on the Sandy Fire in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Ground and aviation resources will continue operations Monday, continuing to hold and improve control lines around the fire.
Florida Highway Patrol
/
Special to WGCU
A helicopter dumps water on a hot spot on the Sandy Fire in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Ground and aviation resources will continue operations Monday, continuing to hold and improve control lines around the fire.

As of Sunday night, the Sandy Fire was reported at 19,814 acres and 45% contained. Ground and aviation resources will continue operations Monday, continuing to hold and improve control lines around the fire.

With a decrease in fire behavior Sunday and an increase in containment, fire managers have downgraded the Sandy Wildfire Evacuation Plan to Phase One.

Despite that rollback, residents were advised that there may still be potential fire impacts especially from smoke.

As of Sunday night, the Sandy Fire was reported at 19,814 acres and 45% contained.

Riki Hoopes, U.S. Parks wildfire information officer, said firefighting crews continued to improve the control line on the western flank of the fire, focusing on cooling areas of increased heat. Firefighters along the remainder of the perimeter also continued to hold and patrol the control line.

Ground and aviation resources will continue operations Monday, continuing to hold and improve control lines around the fire.

Some smoke impacts continue to be expected and travelers should use caution when in the area. Additional road closures are not expected at this time but may be implemented as conditions change.

The Florida Highway Patrol closed a 58-mile section of U.S. 41 again for several hours on Saturday from State Road 29 in Collier County to Krome Road in Miami-Dade County. The same segment was also shut down for more than 7 hours on Friday.

Anatomy of a wildfire:

Braun, Michael

Closures remain in effect west of 11 Mile Road, north of US41, east of Monument Trail, and south of Mud Lake, Little Deer, Oasis Trail and Lost Dog, including the Florida Trail from Oasis Visitor Center to I75 (MM63). This both ensures the safety of the public and allows firefighters to work without impediment.

Evacuation plan steps

  • Phase One: Residents within evacuation zone are notified of potential fire impacts and advised to create defensible space around home if possible. 
  • Phase Two: Residents within evacuation zone should be packed and ready to evacuate.  Residents with preexisting health conditions will be encouraged to leave at this time. 
  • Phase Three: Residents will be advised to leave as fire threat is imminent. 

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Michael Braun