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Wildfires shut stretch of Interstate 75 in southwest Florida

May 14, 2020 GMT
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A helicopter, carrying a bucket, flies near a brush fire in Golden Gate Estates, Fla., on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Crews worked to contain four brush fires totaling about 400 acres and threatening 30 homes in the Estates. (Jon Austria/Naples Daily News via AP)
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A helicopter, carrying a bucket, flies near a brush fire in Golden Gate Estates, Fla., on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Crews worked to contain four brush fires totaling about 400 acres and threatening 30 homes in the Estates. (Jon Austria/Naples Daily News via AP)

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Four brush fires burning a total of about 400 acres (162 hectares) shut down a section of Interstate 75 in southwest Florida on Wednesday, officials said.

One of the fires threatened about 30 homes in the Collier County area of Golden Gate Estates, according to the Florida Forestry Service. A toll section of I-75 known as Alligator Alley was shut down for about 20 miles (32 kilometers), the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were coordinating voluntary evacuations in the areas near the fires, the Naples Daily News reported.

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The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District led efforts to fight the blazes, while two Lee County strike teams and one Sarasota County team also responded, Naples Fire Chief Kingman Schuldt said.

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