Written by Scott Nelson, Director, Wakulla County Emergency Management Thursday, 12 April 2012 22:10
“Wildfires can start at any time of the year, but spring is considered the peak of the season,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “Because of this continual threat, we urge all Floridians to become Firewise, and build a family disaster plan to prepare for wildfires, now and throughout the year.”
In a typical year, Florida experiences more than 4,600 wildfires, burning nearly 110,000 acres of land. In the year to date, Florida has faced approximately 1,600 wildfires, which have burned more than 52,000 acres of state and federally managed land. The three leading causes of wildfires are arson, uncontrolled yard debris or trash fires, and lightning.
The National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program encourages homeowners to reduce wildfire threat around their homes with prevention measures to decrease fire threats, including planting fire-resistant vegetation, trimming trees to a height of 15 feet near structures, clearing brush up to 30 feet around your home, and keeping roofs and gutters clear of debris, such as leaves and pine needles.
Along with Firewise prevention measures, officials urge residents to follow these guidelines set by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Florida Forest Service (FFS):
• Burning yard waste does not require FFS authorization, but you should check with city and county officials to see if there are any restrictions in your area.
• Your fire must be contained to an eight-foot diameter pile or non-combustible barrel and must be at least 25 feet from forests, 25 feet from your house, 50 feet from a paved public road, and 150 feet from other occupied buildings.
• Do not burn on windy days or when humidity is below 30 percent.
• Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure it is out before you leave.
Kids can learn how to protect their family’s home and stay safe from a wildfire with the Firewise Simulator at kidsgetaplan.com. For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/FLSERT and visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FloridaSERT.
|< Prev||Next >|
You need to login or register to post comments.
Discuss this item on the forums. (0 posts)