Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Governor Rick Scott declares state of emergency because of ongoing wildfire threat

Governor Rick Scott is has declared a state of emergency in Florida following the recent wildfires across the state and the high potential for more wildfires during the coming months.

Florida wildfires have already burned 250 percent more acreage during the first three months of 2017 than during the same time period last year.

There are currently more than 100 active wildfires across more than 20,000 acres in Florida.

Much of Central and South Florida are approaching drought-like conditions and the chances for wildfires are continuing to increase with hotter temperatures and low rainfall.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said we haven’t seen this active of a season since 2011.

And while Northwest Florida is not quite as dry as central and south Florida, there is still a high chance of wildfires.

St. George Island was impacted by one of the largest wildfires in recent memory on Saturday when a yard trash fire grew out of control.
Volunteer firefighters county-wide along with members of the Division of Forestry battled for over 12 hours against the fire that stretched from 7th street east to 11th street east.

To minimize the wildfire risk, officials are asking residents and visitors to do their part, including: Never leave any fire unattended.

Report any suspicious fire by calling 911.

Do not burn yard waste during dry, windy conditions, and do not toss cigarettes or other lighted materials out of car windows.

Moreover, homeowners are reminded to clear leaves and pine needles from their roof and gutters, remove dead vegetation from around the home and trim trees and limbs within 15 foot of a chimney.

To see the locations of all active wildfires in Florida, the public can download the “FLBurnTools” app in Apple’s App Store or on Google Play.