2019-Mar-25 Big Cypress
Kirby Prescribed Fire Closures Lifted

Ochopee – Big Cypress National Preserve is pleased to reopen everything south of US41 between Turner River Rd. and Loop Road (Monroe Station) in Collier County to include the Kirby Storter Boardwalk and the Monroe (south) Off Road Vehicle trail that were closed due to prescribed fire activity by Southwest Florida & Caribbean Interagency Fire and Aviation.

Prescribed fires are an important part of resource management at Big Cypress National Preserve. Implementation of all prescribed fires are weather and resource dependent and after careful review of the local environmental indices, prescribed fire parameters, and weather forecast, it was determined that the current conditions were favorable to safely conduct the Kirby Prescribed Fire.

Fire activity is managed by, the Southwest Florida and Caribbean Fire and Aviation Management Program (SWFLCAR) a cooperative program between Big Cypress National Preserve and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Region 4 and District 6.

Any questions or concerns about fire please contact:
Acting Fire Management Officer (AFMO)
- Orlando Genao 305-522-2532
Southwest Florida & Caribbean Interagency Fire and Aviation (SWFLCAR)
- Duty Officer, 239-719-0241

Park Contacts:
Rita Garcia, Public Information Officer, 239-695-1128
Laurie Humphrey, Acting Public Information Officer-Fire, 239-695-4111

For additional updates and closures, please visit NPS Big Cypress for park alerts or fire updates.

2019-Feb-21 Prescribed Burn
Big Cypress Sanctuary Unit

Ochopee – Southwest Florida & Caribbean Interagency Fire and Aviation will be moving forward with a prescribed fire on Thursday, February 21, 2019. We will be conducting a prescribed fire in the Sanctuary Unit in Big Cypress NP; California Slough Rx. Approximate size of burn will be 2,000 acres. This prescribed fire is located in the NE corner of the preserve approximately 2 miles north of I-75 on the L-28 Canal. Please see the attached map.

Prescribed fires are an important part of resource management at Big Cypress National Preserve. Implementation of all prescribed fires will be weather and resource dependent and after careful review of the local environmental indices, prescribed fire parameters, and weather forecast, it has been determined the current conditions, are favorable, to safely conduct this prescribed fire.

Fire activity is managed by, the Southwest Florida and Caribbean Fire and Aviation Management Program (SWFLCAR) a cooperative program between Big Cypress National Preserve and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Region 4 and District 6.

Any questions or concerns about the fire please contact Orlando Genao 305-522-2532 Acting Fire Management Officer (AFMO) or the Southwest Florida & Caribbean Interagency Fire and Aviation (SWFLCAR) Duty Officer, available any time, 239-719-0241.

For additional updates and closures, please visit nps.gov/bicy for park alerts or fire updates.

2018-May-05 Avian Fire Update

Current fire situation: Yesterday the Buzzard and Flamingo Wildfires remained active, influenced by strong, gusty northeast winds and low relative humidity. Long-term drying and drought conditions continue to affect overall fire behavior in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Today, firefighters on the Buzzard Fire will focus on protecting camps within the fire containment lines and on the Flamingo Fire crews will work to prevent the fire from spreading to the north onto private lands.

The Curlew Fire is now burning inside the Everglades National Park. In recent days, firefighters successfully protected two camps. Air monitoring will continue.
Crews also responded to a new wildfire on the neighboring Fakahatchee State Preserve yesterday.

Smoke impacts: Similar to yesterday, smoke impacts to State Road 29, Hwy. 41 and I-75 are possible late this evening and into the early morning hours on Sunday. Smoke can create hazardous driving conditions. Drivers are advised to proceed with extreme caution, driving with lights on and at reduced speeds.

Fire weather: Scattered showers and afternoon storms are expected this afternoon with northeast winds 10-15 mph. The team meteorologist is monitoring for lighting and Initial Attack is prepared to respond to any new starts.

Restrictions and closures: The following closures remain in place in the Big Cypress National Preserve (BICY):
• Stairsteps: All lands in Zone 3. Zone 4 is closed to all public access by airboat
• Paces Dike Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs)
• Roberts Lake Trail south from Loop Road
• Lands east of Turner River Rd., west of BICY’s eastern boundary and north of Hwy. 41
• The Florida National Scenic Trail is closed from the Oasis Visitor Center to I-75 mile marker 63.
• All BICY lands north of I-75 between Hwy. 29 and Bundschu Grade

These areas are closed to all recreational use, including ORVs, hiking, camping and commercial activities due to safety concerns related to wildfires in the area.

Private lands in the designated closure area shall remain open. Residents should use caution and notify the Fire Duty Officer of entry by calling (239) 719-0241.

Additional information: For more information, please call (305) 229-6659 or email BICYFireInfo@gmail.com. You can also stay up to date with the Avian Complex on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5750.

Jeep Beach Underway

The vendors and factory exhibitors that attended the Morris 4×4 show last weekend have motored their way on up I-95 and are in Dayton for Jeep Beach. While the partying has already started, there’s still time to make the scene. Main events are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday – Challenge Courses & Vendors Exhibits


Courses run mild to wild


Are staffed with capable people who can advise and if needed recover


and it’s always fun to see what everyone else has brung and see it in action

More photos at the Challenge Course Album

Sunday – Morning Beach Ride/Parade


For the last 8 years this has been a monster for turn out


After the morning meetup, Jeeps head down the beach single file.


The procession is miles long.

For more photos of the beach ride, check out prior years Beach Ride Albums

Avian Fire Update
2018-Apr-25

Ochopee – Due to multiple fires within the same unit of Big Cypress National Preserve, the Avian Complex will now include and report on the Buzzard, Vulture and Caracara fires. Information regarding these fires, including maps, and fire area closures can be found on InciWeb.

Rain fell across the Buzzard Wildfire on Monday, slowing fire progression. The fire continues to move west towards the Oasis Trail, and crews have focused on prepping any structures potentially at risk by removing brush, and any other fuels from around buildings. The revised Closure Order does impact the Florida Trail. During this closure, all recreational use including Off-Road Vehicle (ORV), hiking, hunting, camping and commercial activities will be prohibited in the designated areas. This is to promote visitor safety during wildfire activity in this area. Travel through the preserve on US-41 has not been impacted by the fire.

The Buzzard Wildfire was reported on April 10, 2018. The fire has burned approximately 7,193 acres, and remains at 20% containment. The cause of this fire has been identified as a lightning strike.

The Vulture Wildfire, first reported on April 10, 2018, has been 100% contained. The cause of this fire has been identified as a lightning strike. This will be the last update for the Vulture Fire

The Caracara Fire which was first reported April 17, 2018, located in the sanctuary portion of the preserve near the canal, has burned approximately 1 acre, and is 100% contained. The cause is under investigation. This will be the last update for the Caracara Fire.

The priorities for these fires will remain visitor and firefighter safety. Ground and aviation personnel will continue to identify and protect values at risk.

The best contact for the Big Cypress National Preserve wildfires is the Public Information Officer, 720-837-9591



Click map for bigger image

A JK is a JK by Any Other Name

By any other name it could be a Wrangler, and so would a TJ, YJ or even JL. Keeping it percise, Vegas Dave has put together a handy little list of Model Codes to Vehicles.

Nice thing to refer to when someone’s telling a story and throwing around a unfamiliar model code (“I rolled my ‘BU’ on the trail this weekend, but I’m okay”… right, I’m sure you are.). Now if we can get Dave to include the matching pix we might have the beginnings of a cool spotter’s guide. Not that it’s too likely I’ll see a VJ or C101 just tooling down the street and wonder what kind of Jeep that was, but then again, you never know.

Big Cypress Trail Closings
2018-Apr-10

Ochopee –The Spoonbill Wildfire, as of April 10th at 0800, has burned roughly 1,843 acres and is located approximately 2 miles north of I-75 at mile marker 69 and north and west of the Bundschu Grade in the area of Little Marsh. The Bundschue Grade and areas remain closed due to the fire crossing that trail. During this closure, all recreational use including Off-Road Vehicle (ORV), hiking, hunting, camping and commercial activities will be prohibited in the designated areas. This is to promote visitor safety during wildfire activity in this area.

The Spoonbill Wildfire is within .5 miles of the recent Leprechaun Fire, and the cause is under investigation. There is 80% containment at this time.

The Cormorant Fire, in the vicinity of the recent Anhinga Wildfire, showed little to no growth and will continued to be monitored. This fire was identified as a lightning strike.

Big Cypress Trail Reopennings
2018-Mar-28

Per National Park Service:
OCHOPEE – Big Cypress National Preserve is pleased to reopen the closures from the Anhinga Wildfire. The following areas are open immediately: Pink Jeep, Gator Head and Bear Island Campgrounds. The opening also includes the following roads and trails:

  • Bear Island Grade Trail
  • Perocchi Grade Trail
  • and Bear Island Campground Road

    These areas are now open to safe recreational use including hiking, hunting, ORV, and camping.