Fires and heavy smoke cause evacuations in southwest Florida

Roads closed and evacuations ordered in the area
Posted at 7:10 AM, Mar 07, 2017

NAPLES, Fla. -- A heavy smoke advisory is now in effect for Collier County, Florida while a massive wildfire burns. The fire has growing overnight and into Tuesday to 6,000 acres.

According to Caloosahatchee Forestry Center, the Lee Williams Road fire in Picayune Strand is now 6,000 acres and 30% contained as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, with crews working overnight to keep it from homes and away from roads.

MORE: I-75 closed near Naples due to smoke from fire

No structures were lost as of Monday and no injuries were reported.  A mandatory evacuation of an area east of Naples was ordered Tuesday.

The fire is burning through the woods east of Collier Boulevard, covering the area with thick smoke, ashes, and embers.

MORE: Photos of Tuesday's fire near Naples

The fires had forced authorities to close Collier Boulevard, a major road in the area, on Monday afternoon, but reopened early Tuesday morning. Late Tuesday morning, authorities again closed a seperate portion of Collier Boulevard.