Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors to Central Florida to practice fire safety today as dangerous fire weather conditions are expected. A cold and dry air mass funneling into the Sunshine State behind the cold front which affected the state last Tuesday will increase the wildfire threat statewide Thursday and Friday. Gusty winds combined with this dry air mass have prompted Red Flag Warnings for exceptionally dangerous fire weather conditions. In addition, drier soil conditions across Central Florida will make these areas especially prone to the development and rapid spread of wildfires today.
“We ask that Central Floridians practice caution when using flammable materials in and outside of the home,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Interim Director David Halstead. “As dry conditions continue, we can all do our part to become Firewise and stay safe.”
Florida’s “dry” season typically lasts through May but wildfires remain a threat in the Sunshine State year round. Some tips for homeowners to protect their home from wildfire include:
- Create a “defensible space” clear of brush 30 feet around your home.
- Prune tree limbs to a height of 15 feet near structures.
- Keep your roof and gutters free of leaves and pine needles.
- Insure your home’s street address is clearly marked for firefighters.
- Review and practice your fire escape plan.