Cowbell Fire | Update 10


Incident Summary | The Cowbell Wildfire is located 30 miles northeast of Ochopee Florida that was reported on March 30th around 1601 Hours.  The cause is unknown and under investigation.

Incident Cooperators | NPS, Big Cypress NP, USFS, USFWS, FL Panther National Wildlife Preserve, FL FS, Seminole Tribe of Florida, FL Highway Patrol and Collier County (Florida) OEM.


Command | Mike Wilkins/ICT1.

Aerial video of the Cowbell Fire April 9, 2017

Courtesy: Inciweb

Personnel | 257 fire personnel.

Acres | 21,156.

Containment Status | 55%.

Weather Status | Fire activity was moderated by higher RHs, lighter winds and cloudier skies.

Fire Activities | Structure protection, mop-up in divisions and air resources using water drops to slow the wildfire from spreading.

Closures |  Bear Island Campground, Pink Jeep Campround, Turner River Road Camps remain evacuated as a precautionary measure.

[4/18/2017 @ 1740 Hours PDT]


Acres | 19,297 acres.

Containment Status | 52%.

Personnel | 283 personnel.  Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team is transitioning with the Southern Area Incident Management Blue Team today.  The Blue team will take over on Tuesday at 0800 Hours.

Resources | 7 helicopters. 2 SEAT tankers.  24 engines.

Weather Forecast |  High pressure to move in today with 5-10 mph winds from the NE with gusts of 15-20 mph. Increased RH and partly cloudy skies in this afternoon. Temps to be in the mid-80’s*F.

[4/17/2017 @ 1930 Hours PDT]


Acres | 16,944 acres.

Containment Status | 38%

Resources | 261 personnel.  7 helicopters. 2 SEAT tankers.  21 engines.

Cowbell Fire swamp buggy April 12, 2017

Swamp Fire Buggy. [Courtesy: Inciweb]

Fire Tactics | Aviation resources are supporting strategic firing operations with water drops. Resources also are available to monitor hot spots and respond to any new wildfires in the preserve and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

[4/13/2017 – 1800 PDT]


Incident Summary | The fire has grown 7,000 acres overnight.

Acres | 8,335 acres.

Containment Status | 13%.

 Resources | 257 personnel. 7 helicopters. 2 SEAT tankers. 17 engines.

Cowbell Fire April 9 2017

Photo Credit: Jeff Adams

Weather | Temps in mid-80’s. Winds E-NE forecasted 5-10 mph. An Atlantic sea breeze to develop in afternoon, increasing wind speeds.  Slight chance of showers and storm expected Wednesday main W of the fire area. [Inciweb]

[4/10/2017 @ 1745 PDT]


Weather Concerns | Smoke to blow from the Cowbell and Parliament Fires mixing with fog throughout Sunday AM.  This could reduce visibility along I-75 between mile markers 55-66 and Highway 41 between Turner River Road and the Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Reminders | Drivers are being reminded to use extreme caution when driving in these poor visible conditions or find an alternate route to avoid any potential hazardous situations.

[4/9/2017 @ 0800 PDT]


Acres | 449 acres.

Containment Status | 13%.

aerial images of the Cowbell Fire on 4-10-17

Aerial Image. [Courtesy: Inciweb]

Fire Tactics | “Fire behavior became active today with isolated tree torching dropped under a Red Warning. It was also active on the Southern flank.  Aircraft resources were used to slow the movement of the fire.  We will continue to work on containment lines.”  – Fire Managers

[4/7/2017 @ 1900 PDT]

Firefighters maintaining the fireline on the Cowbell Fire.

Photo Courtesy: Inciweb


Acres | 449 acres.

Containment Status | 10%.

Resources | 182 personnel.

No automatic alt text available.

Photo Credit:  Big Cypress National Preserve / Aerial Recon Flight

[4/6/2017 @ 1955 PDT]

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature


Acres | 449 acres destroyed.

Containment Status | 0%.

Cowbell Fire perimeter map and the surrounding area April 4 2017

Personnel | 146 fire personnel.

Fire Tactics | Firefighters will continue with structure protection of private properties, while monitoring containment lines and planned lines. They will also address hot spots.



Acres | The wildfire has now scorched 400 acres.

Containment Status |  0%.

Fire Behavior |   The fire behavior is still active and running.

Resources | There are 16 personnel assigned to this incident.

Fire Tactics | Fire Managers will continue to assess structures and ID containment lines.  In the next 12 hours, fire growth is expected.  In the next 24 hours, the fire is expected to be reduced by decreased winds.

Cause | The cause is still unknown.

Damage / Injuries |  No injuries or damages have been reported.



Incident Summary | A wildfire broke out on the Preserve yesterday and discovered around 1600 hours.  Fire Managers have said this is not due to being caused by a Prescribed fire but from an unknown cause of ignition.

Acres | About 300 acres have been scorched.

Containment Status | 0%.

Fire fuels | The fire is currently burning in pine land and cypress habitat and in tall grass and Southern rough fire fuels.

Current Conditions | Fire behavior is active and running.

Fire Tactics | Both air/ground resources are working to assess area trail exposures, are checking for structures inside the fire perimeter and assets at risk.

Command | The IC is RT Lumpkin, with a Type 4 IMT with the National Park Service.

Firefighters protecting structures on the Cowbell fire.

Structure Protection by Firefighters. Photo Courtesy: Inciweb

Fire Facts | Florida 2nd state to have most wildfires.  With these wildfires and previous others, Officials say the Fire Season has started much earlier than in 2016.

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