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Wildfire covers 7,500 acres near Naples

Posted at 11:52 AM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 18:53:27-05

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) -- 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 7,500-acre brush fire in Collier County caused poor visibility.

The Florida Forest Service says the fire is 40 percent contained at this time.

Bueno says troopers are continuing to monitor conditions.

Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Samantha Quinn tells the Naples Daily News 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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