Great news! As of 5 PM on June 12, 2015, all fire-related closures in Big Cypress National Preserve will be lifted, reopening the length of the Florida Trail for use again. The summer rains are now upon South Florida, bringing much-needed water to the swamp.
As this map from Inciweb shows, there were significant losses of habitat during this month of fires in the preserve, with more than 35,321 acres acres burned. 5% of the fires are still burning and are still being monitored, but are not a threat to recreational users. This is the last map posted by Inciweb for this fire complex.
The only direct effect of the fires on the FNST was directly south of MM 63 rest area at I-75 with the Ellipse Fire. It’s a real shame, since there was a nice dense pine forest just to the east of the trail when we hiked there in January. Volunteers should be able to assess the impact to the trail here and along Nobles Road starting this weekend.