Crews using 'back burns' to help keep fires at bay in Pasco County

At least four fires still burning in Pasco County
Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 02:10:09-04

"It's just behind our house now-- a little smoky," said Suncoast Lakes homeowner Eric Roberts.

Eric Roberts stayed home from work today.

"That's one of the dangers of living right next to conservation land," he explained.

Usually armadillos and deer come out of the woods behind his home.

Today it's firefighters and ash.

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"It's almost like snow flurries a little bit at times," said Roberts.

Firefighters are betting a back burn will push the Silver Palm fire away from about a dozen homes.

Still they're keeping the ground and trees wet.

"We try to comfort then and keep them informed. You know, tell them as much information as we can, good or bad, and then they can make their decisions from there," said Florida Forest Service John DeWolfe.

Four brush fires burning in Pasco County. The South Bike Trail brush fire shutting down a popular park in New Port Richey for a second day.

"I cannot reiterate enough that Starkey Park is closed. We continue to have citizens and residents go around
barricades, go over barricades, climb fences," said Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County Emergency Operations Center.

Stay out and stay vigilant like Roberts who's hoping he'll be back at work tomorrow.

"Keep the brush knocked down in the back. Keep it knocked down as much as you can so
there's no fuel back there," advised Roberts.