Fire Dangers in the Apalachicola Forest

Red flag warnings are being issued almost every afternoon in north Florida due to extreme heat and dryness. With little rain in the forecast, fire officials fear we'll have a tough wildfire season on our hands.

As many of you know it's been extremely hot and unusually dry this spring. In fact, Channel 6 meteorologists say we are better than nine inches behind normal rainfall since March 1, which equates to very dry underbrush that's perfect for fueling wildfires.

It's been almost two months since a raging wildfire burned over 19,000 acres in the Apalachicola National Forest. The fire burned hot and fast due to dry brush and heavy fuels. The same conditions have been seen this week in the same forest. Weather forecasters say we're experiencing a heat wave, one with low humidity and high chances of wildfire.

Brandon Bolinski, a National Weather Service forecaster, says, “Those conditions can promote fire spreading. If one were to start it could get out of control with these conditions.”

That's why the National Weather Service has been issuing red flag warnings advising the public to be extra cautious when burning outdoors, an advisory many Wakulla County residents are taking seriously.

Is there relief in sight?

Forecasters are banking on it as the screen depicts a frontal boundary entering north Florida early next week. Still, they say expect little rainfall; no substantial gully washers to soak into dry soil. In fact, meteorologist Rob Nucatola says the forecast sounds like a broken record all the way through your Memorial Day weekend.

It almost sounds like the perfect sunny forecast for Memorial Day, but once again fire officials say there's plenty of wildfire danger that goes along with it in both north Florida and south Georgia.