The threat of wildfire is still eminent in Florida as the dry spell continues. Despite slight rainfall recently in some regions of the state, it was not enough to eliminate the risk of fire or to lift burn bans in some counties.
On May 15, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and the Florida Forest Service announced 2,163 wildfires have burned over 170,000 acres of land in Florida this year. “Even with rain across large parts of Florida over the weekend, Florida is still experiencing drought conditions and elevated wildfire danger — and will continue to for some time. Residents and visitors need to pay attention to and comply with local burn bans and should take every precaution to help prevent wildfire or call for help,” Putnam said.
Weather forecasts predict the dry spell to continue with little rain to ease the dryness. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, May is usually among the driest months of the year in Florida, which is certainly not expected to change in 2017.
Putnam urged Governor Rick Scott back in April to issue an executive order ensuring that full resources will be provided to combat wildfires.
These wildfires can spread quickly with no warning or no time to evacuate. It is important for all Florida residents to take precaution and abide by the burn bans in certain counties. The Florida Department of Agriculture gives these suggestions to prevent wildfires from affecting homes:
- Keep firewood 30 feet from homes
- Keep mulch and pine needles away from homes, fences and decks
- Keep roofs and gutters free of pine needles
- Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks and keep it at least 10 feet from homes
- Keep any flammables away from homes, fences and decks
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