Wakulla County has seen a dozen or so brush fires over the course of the month - with some happening on the same day. Now, they say it's time to raise awareness about these fires and how they can be prevented.
Aaron Robertson sits outside his home as firefighters put out a brush fire that began in his backyard. He says he was burning a tree stump when the wind picked up and sent the flames onto the grass.
Robertson says, "A whirlwind came in and blew it straight up, when it did that, then it got around everywhere." He goes on to say, "It got in the grass and headed towards the woods, and then I couldn't control it."
Wakulla County fire officials have responded to more than a dozen brush fires in the past few weeks, and they say people should know that a small outdoor fire can quickly get out of control and destroy more than just a little brush.
Kurt Hindle from the Wakulla County Fire Department says, "So anytime we have a brush fire, someone wants to start something with some debris or something like that. It only takes a simple spark and of course it takes off on us."
A brush fire can start by simply burning trash or a lit cigarette, that's why Wakulla County fire officials are urging residents to take extra precautions to make sure this doesn't happen to you.
Hindle says, "Look at your weather, go outside, even though it's a nice day to go outside, don't mean it's a nice day to be out there burning. Always be right there, if you're gonna be outside you definitely wanna be there, you wanna have some kind of water source, someway to keep an eye on it."
Fire officials are hoping folks like Robertson have learned to be more cautious when burning in the yard.
The Florida Division of Forestry say more than 37 brush fires have happened in the Big Bend Area since January 1st - burning some 250 acres.
For more information on brush fires and tips on how to avoid them, call the Wakulla County Fire Department at 850-926-7616.
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