Florida's Alligator Alley reopens during wildfires

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 8, 2017 at 6:52 p.m.



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NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — A portion of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley was reopened Wednesday as firefighters worked to contain a wildfire in southwest Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The Naples Daily News (https://goo.gl/coJt7z) reports that FHP reopened the highway Wednesday evening, but officials say they will reclose the road if visibility worsens.

Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Samantha Quinn says the fire has destroyed two homes in eastern Collier County. No injuries were reported. The wildfire has grown to 7,500 acres and is 40 percent contained.

Residents of several nearby communities, including recreational vehicle parks in Naples, were evacuated Tuesday, but Collier County officials lifted the evacuation Wednesday evening.

"I'm scared," said Thompson Goble, 55, who lives at the Club Naples RV Resort east of Naples. "I don't know what I'm going to go back to. Where am I going to go if there is nothing left?"

Goble was among a group of evacuees who gathered at the Golden Gate Community Center on Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Godin, 75, said this is the first time he and his wife June have had to evacuate their home at Club Naples, even when hurricanes have threatened.

"Fire's a little different," he said.

The weather and windy conditions across much of Florida helped spread the fire, said Collier County Emergency Services Director Dan Summers.

The cause of the fire was unclear.

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Information from: Naples (Fla.) Daily News, http://www.naplesnews.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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