The Latest: Florida's Alligator Alley reopens during fire

AP News
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Posted: Mar 08, 2017 8:21 PM

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in southwest Florida (all times local):

8 p.m.

The Florida Highway Patrol says a portion of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley has been reopened as firefighters work to contain a 7,500-acre wildfire.

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. Also, Collier County officials lifted a mandatory evacuation Wednesday evening of areas affected by the wildfire.

Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Samantha Quinn says the fire has destroyed two homes in eastern Collier County. No injuries were reported.

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7 a.m.

The Florida Highway Patrol says a portion of Interstate 75 that's also known as Alligator Alley is shut down due to smoky conditions from a wildfire.

Lt. Gregory Bueno said in an email early Wednesday that motorists should seek alternatives routes on the highway that runs between Naples on Florida's Gulf Coast to the Fort Lauderdale area on the Atlantic Coast. It's the major east-west route across southern Florida.

The road was closed Tuesday after smoke from a 6,000-acre brush fire in Collier County caused poor visibility.

Bueno says troopers are continuing to monitor conditions.

Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Samantha Quinn tells the Naples Daily News (http://bit.ly/2lDfFsQ ) the fire has destroyed two homes in eastern Collier County. No injuries were reported.

Residents of several nearby communities, including recreational vehicle parks in Naples, have been evacuated.

The cause of the fire remains unclear.

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