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Wildfires shut stretch of Interstate 75 in southwest Florida

Florida

NAPLES, Fla. (WFLA/AP) — Authorities say smoky conditions have caused the Florida Highway Patrol to shut down a section of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley as four brush fires have merged together in southwest Florida.

The Florida Forest Service said two of wildfires broke out Wednesday afternoon in the Golden Gate vicinity of central Collier County, Florida, on the western edge of the Florida Everglades, and that the fires were boosted by high winds and extremely low humidity.

The state Department of Agriculture & Consumer Affairs says the fire has grown to about 4,000 acres and is about 10% contained. On Wednesday fire threatened about 30 homes in Collier County.

(Source: Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services)

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were coordinating voluntary evacuations in the areas near the fires. The efforts to fight the fires were led by the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District.

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