Struggling to protect a tiny endangered bird, firefighters battled a sprawling East Everglades wildfire on Wednesday from the air and the ground.
Normally the fire would be allowed to burn itself out, said Bridget Litten, a spokeswoman for Everglades National Park. Fires are a part of the natural growth cycle of the Everglades.
But the flames were threatening a known habitat of the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow.
And so, two helicopters were dipping buckets into a nearby canal and dumping water onto the flames, each sortie aimed at halting the eastward advance of the fire. The blaze covered 1,000 acres and was visible from 12 miles away.
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