Tallahassee, Florida - April 25, 2011 -
Over the past three weeks the nation has witnessed the destruction wildfires have caused across the state of Texas. Critical dryness and gusty strong winds have helped to drive fires from one end of the state to the other.
Recently, we have seen increased fire danger levels across the state of Florida. Fires have been an issue in the central and southern parts of the state already this year. In North Florida, current conditions show continued dryness due to daily temperatures in the upper eighties and mid nineties and gusty winds. The drought index has also been on a steady rise over the past three weeks. All of these factors contribute to increasing the chances of wildfires occurring in our area. North Floridians, now is NOT the time to become complacent in regards to wildfire prevention and home defense! Here are some things you can do:
Due to dry conditions, Division of Forestry officials are asking residents to use caution when using anything that can cause a spark.
• Be careful when using fire for anything - including campfires and barbecues. Make sure someone watches the fire at all times until it is out.
• Closely watch for any sparks that might fly from equipment you may be using. This includes not only grinding equipment and torches, but also any lawn care equipment and off road vehicles.
• Be sure that spark arrestors are in place on all engines used near wildland fuel. Have these engines tuned so they don't back fire.
• Supervise children and be sure they understand the dangers of fire and the possible consequences of their actions.
• Report any fire immediately to 911.
• If parking on dry grass or brush, remember that the heat of your car can start a fire.
• Take some time to pick up your yard and clean your roof so you don't invite a wildfire to your home.