Local wildfire dangers "extremely high"

Published: Nov. 7, 2016 at 10:39 PM EST
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By: James Buechele

November 7, 2016

Tallahassee, Fla. (WCTV) -- Dry weather and lack of substantial rain have increased forest fire chances throughout the Big Bend and south Georgia.

"You're crunching with every step on oak leaves," said Todd Schroeder of the Florida Forest Service. "That tells me that it's really, really dry."

Schroeder says small fires across portions of the Big Bend in the Apalachicola National Forest have already been popping up.

"It could be much worse than what we've been experiencing. I think the shorter days with the time change has helped us out."

It's not just our area. Northern Georgia and most of Alabama are becoming the hardest hit from the recent drought.

"We typically go through two dry periods being April and October are our dry months," said WCTV Chief Meteorologist Mike McCall. "but then the cold fronts become more active we get more rainfall and had kind of a dry summer across parts of Georgia and that's made it a whole lot worse into Alabama too."

So before you think about lighting a bonfire or burning brush, Schroeder has one final plea.

"If you can postpone burning a pile out back, we would suggest doing that."