Florida is a hot spot for wildfires

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. - Crews are still battle a wildfire burning through hundreds of acres in Hernando County. 

RELATED: Hernando firefighters battle 600-acre plus Watertower brush fire, 50% contained

That isn't very surprising, if you take a walk in any park right now. You'll probably hear the sound of crunching leaves dried up from the Florida sun.

"It's dry," said Judith Tear, with the Florida Forest service. She says the lack of humidity and changing wind patterns have made this area the driest it's been in years.

"These are not days you should be burning outside," said Tear. "Even campfires or warming fires or things like that; it's just too windy."

Wind carries embers which can start spot fires that eventually grow. It's what happened in Hernando County after a round of thunderstorms moved through last week. With nearly 1,150 wildfires in the state right now, Tear says it's best to err on the side of caution. Flames are raging in Orlando - forcing people to leave home and in Broward County, another fire grew quickly threatening a park.

Florida may not have as many homes backed up to wooded areas like in other southern states, but it does have the highest fire risk to homes and commercial/residential areas. That's partly because of the weather but also because of all the things that can fuel the fire including things like pine cones.

If that vegetation is anywhere near your home, and it catches fire - chances are your home will too. The most vulnerable areas are your roof and anything immediately surrounding the house. The Florida Forest service says clean out your drains, rake up dead leaves, and make sure the plants in your yard are ALIVE and well. Also, trim back plants that could carry the fire up to your roof.

This week is Florida Fire Awareness week - Florida Fire service hopes these fires prove to people how dangerous they can be and motivates them to take action to protect their family and home.

 

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