Monday, April 26, 2010

DANGEROUS FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS EXPECTED FOR THE NORTHERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE AND EASTERN BIG BEND AREAS TODAY AND TOMORROW

In the wake of this past weekend’s strong cold front, a dry air mass will move into Northern Florida, placing portions of the Florida Panhandle and much of the northern Peninsula in a critical wildfire risk today and tomorrow. The counties most at risk include Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Lafayette, Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Baker, Bradford, Union, Nassau, Duval, Clay and St. Johns.

“The Storm Prediction Center has placed the far northern Florida peninsula and the far eastern Big Bend in a critical wildfire risk area both today and tomorrow,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “We ask that Floridians be very careful with the use of fire and flammable materials in and outside of the home. As dry conditions continue, we can all do our part to become Firewise and stay safe.”

Strong winds combined with low humidity values will elevate the wildfire risk across much of North Florida through Tuesday. 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.

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