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Departments battle Cape, Pine Island brush fires

By Staff | Jun 23, 2009

Local firefighters and forestry officials had their hands full Monday between a resparked 170-acre brush fire in north Cape Coral and another 100-acre fire on Pine Island.
While neither fire endangered homes in the respective areas, crews remained working diligently throughout the afternoon and into the evening to make sure any possible threat to residents would be extinguished.
Cape Coral and Pine Island fire crews and the Department of Forestry battled the 100-acre blaze near Stringfellow Road. It had become 85 percent contained by the early evening and was anticipated to be fully contained, according to DOF spokesperson Victor Hill.
Hill said Monday evening that crews had fully contained the 170-acre fire in a forested area near Durden Parkway and Andalusia Boulevard.
Cape Coral and North Fort Myers fire departments battled the Cape blaze alongside forestry workers. The fire did not threaten residents from its remote location, according to city spokesperson Connie Barron.
The blaze was likely resparked from a 240-acre fire last week by lightning in the area, Barron said.
Monday’s Cape fire may have been deemed non-threatening to residents, but Kevin Neal is still grateful to those fighting the fire, especially after seeing the 240-acre Thursday blaze come right up to the north side of Durden.
Neal lives with his wife on the southwest end of Durden. They were asked to evacuate last week.
Neal and his wife moved into their quiet north Cape home from Colorado just a few weeks ago, and his welcome to the neighborhood remains visible in charred brush only feet from the roadway.
But Neal will remember Thursday’s fire for another reason: the couple’s home in Colorado flooded days before their move to the Sunshine State.
“We had the flood and then the fire,” he said. “We were thinking, ‘What is next?'”
Still, Neal has faith in the firefighters and forestry workers squelching out flames and running fire lines.
“They came out real quickly and they had a lot of help,” he said. “I am thankful and hopeful that they will always put it out.”
For Neal and his family, the good outweighs the bad — brush fire season — in the north Cape. The quiet, serene locale will keep them where they are.
“I like it up here,” he said. “Not many neighbors.”
Hill said fire officials would remain on-scene into Monday evening and would continue to monitor the north Cape fire today.