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Gov. Scott Touring Flagler Fires at 4 p.m. After Declaring Emergency and Activating Guard

| June 14, 2011

Flagler bound.

Last Updated: 7:32 a.m.

For an update on Monday’s fire, go here. For the details on Scott’s visit, go here.

Gov. Rick Scott late Monday issued Executive Order 11-128 declaring a state of emergency statewide “due to the ongoing danger of wildfires and drought conditions that continues to threaten the state of Florida.”

Scott is scheduled to be at Flagler County’s Emergency Operations Center at 4 p.m. for a briefing, followed by a tour of the fires. Scott was scheduled to be at an Enterprise Florida luncheon earlier in the day (at Orlando International Airport’s Hyatt Regency). The News Service of Florida confirmed the governor’s schedule Monday evening.


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Flagler County’s Espanola fire is the first fire that Scott’s executive order singles out in a brief list that also mentions 600 acres in the Florida portion of a wildfire that started in Georgia, burning 168,423 acres there before creeping across the border, and fires in Levy County burning 4,594 acres. A brush fire in the Everglades area of inland Miami-Dade, near the Miccosukee Indian Reservation, has been burning since June 5, charring an estimated 68,000 acres.

There are some 310 active wildfires in the state, burning 115,583 acres, according to the Division of Forestry.

The declaration places the state Division of Emergency Management in charge of the emergency. That means that Bryan Koon, the director of emergency management, now has the authority to coordinate assignments of firefighting aid requested by the Division of Forestry throughout the state.

“I place all aviation and other firefighting resources under the operational authority of the Division of Forestry while this Executive Order remains in effect, and I designate the Director of the Division of Forestry as Incident Commander for this emergency,” Scott’s order reads. “All state, regional, and local governmental agencies shall place any and all available resources under the direction of the State Coordinating Officer to support the Division of Forestry and other firefighting agencies in controlling the wildfires.”

How that translates to the command structure of the fires in Flagler County is unclear at the moment. The Division of Forestry has been battling the Espanola fire, which crossed the 4,000-acre mark today. Flagler County’s fire department, along with Flagler Beach and Bunnell, have been battling about a dozen fires or more across the county, and responding to new break-outs. A state “incident management team” has been coordinating the effort through the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Bunnell.

The governor also activated the National Guard, ordering air and ground resources to be made available to he Division of Forestry to battle wildfires and to maintain the resources “in a state of immediate operational readiness.” In essence, all state, county and municipal agencies’ air and ground resources, including law enforcement aircraft, are under the “operational authority” of the Division of Forestry.


The long-awaited executive order, the governor’s office said, “ensures state, regional, and local governments can take necessary actions to protect the lives and property of the people in threatened communities.”

The order should make it easier for the governor to compel a federal emergency declaration, which would then release Federal Emergency Management Agency support–and reimbursements: landowners could apply for some relief funds as compensation for burnt timber, and local governments would have overtime and other costs reimbursed. Flagler County’s overtime costs are running around $40,000 a week, those of Palm Coast around $10,000 a week.

It’s not just fire: the executive order notes that drought condition and persistently dry conditions may make matters worse in weeks ahead as the summer heat intensifies and a pattern of dry weather endures.

“Because of the foregoing conditions, I declare that the ongoing danger of wildfires continues to threaten the State of Florida with a major disaster, and that as a consequence of this danger a state of emergency exists in the State of Florida,” the order reads.

Over the next 30 days, the order gives state, regional and local governments authority to waive or deviate from state law or regulatory rules “to the extent that such actions are needed to cope with this emergency, including, but not limited to, any and all statutes, rules or orders which affect budgeting, leasing, printing, purchasing, travel, conditions of employment, and the compensation of employees.”

The order also activates the so-called he Emergency Management Assistance Compact (“EMAC”), among other compacts between Florida and other states, enabling the management of other states’ resources, once lent to Florida, to be under the authority of the state management system. Those resources, once they enter Florida, are exempt from taxes and fees, such as those imposed at weigh stations.

All local government and law enforcement agencies are also ordered to identify personnel that may be of help in the emergency. That personnel is then placed under the authority and command of the state coordinating officer.

The order also covers pharmacists, who are “authorized to dispense up to a 30-day emergency prescription refill of maintenance medication to persons who reside in an area or county covered under this executive order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state or local agency but who do not reside in an area or county covered by this executive order.”

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17 Responses for “Gov. Scott Touring Flagler Fires at 4 p.m. After Declaring Emergency and Activating Guard”

  1. Steve Wood says:

    This is about time. Now lets see what kind of help we get, if any.

       0 likes

  2. Jennifer LaGrande Lania says:

    FINALLY!!

       0 likes

  3. Cathy Clayton says:

    Great news!!!

       0 likes

  4. palmcoaster says:

    Was time…maybe the calls to his office after over a month of Espanola fires worked. Lets ask him to visit Flagler and get him smoked like we are enduring.

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  5. palmcoaster says:

    Can they let us know if the heavy rains that poured in Palm Coast from Rte 1 to the beach side fell also over the fires area?

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  6. Justice for All says:

    Does the declaration modify communications? Will you, Pierre, be allowed back into the briefing meetings from which you’d been banished?

    So far, the government websites have not been informative. Keep up the great work.

       0 likes

  7. palmcoaster says:

    Yes the EOC center information to the affected public is a joke.
    Also all PC voters today be present at 9 am in the Community Center for the PC Council Meeting regarding this unfair redistricting proposal that leaves Mr. Cross out on short notice and propels Jason DeLorenzo as the only candidate uncontested to replace Distefano. Better be there all the ones that didn’t like so far all these developers blunders around us starting with ITT taking away from us all the amenities grand father in for over 30 years of usage when they left and probably illegally (not matter what developer Bob Devore and Jon Nets tell us) as none of us then raised this well hidden issue for: our golf courses (including the eyesore Matanzas Golf Course today), our Marina, our tennis players club and the ocean front pool and cabanas facilities and the pool by the courts behind the European Village, The Ginn unfair trade by then county commissioners of our ocean front public lands. City needs to reply back to request from a group of residents already presented regarding this potential illegal ITT selling and by doing so depriving us from our amenities.
    The loss of our Palm Harbor Resort and the 300 jobs with it, to Centex Developer and the cost to repair 5 million or more to the Palm Harbor Golf Course inflicted by Centex neglect, before they deeded it to us and after we, surrounding home owners started a fierce battle for it, threatening with even legal action! If we want to have “our real representatives” in this city council better be, in this meeting today or we will go further under the developers foot and against our best tax payers interest.

       0 likes

  8. Dorothea says:

    Palmcoaster, I can’t find a list of candidates, but I think you are incorrect. Cross is or was not running for Distefano’s seat.

    The closing date for qualifying for the Palm Coast City Council is August 9. So we don’t know yet who is running. Cross, under the proposed redistricting plan, cannot run this year. Given the huge voting block in Grand Haven and its preponderance of tea party members, I am relieved. Before you get yourself all riled up, be careful of what you wish for.

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  9. ol'sarge says:

    This guy has a lot of nerve showing up to “support” local firefighters after his administration has worked so hard to empty their pockets and weaken their union. Maybe after he is done explaining why he waited so long to declare a state of emergency, he can explain why he has made it his administration’s goal to slap the face of the public servants with one hand while patting them on the back with the other…all in the name of a bottom line.

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  10. cynical says:

    It’s ironic that he has to cancel his meeting with Enterprise Florida to actually confront all those freeloading, socialist government workers looking for handout that he was going to rail against all morning. You know, the brave firefighters putting their lives on the line for a meager salary.

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  11. palmcoaster says:

    Dorothea I just came back from the redistricting meeting and guess what…? Thank God our councilmen Meeker and Distefano along with Mayor Netts voted for district two choice other than district one presented by the commission with McCarthy at the head. We were about 80 residents present including Attorney Sidney Nowell that spoke to elected representatives Councilabout the prevailing of ethics while adopting political measures as he always stresses to his students while giving courses in Daytona Beach College. Now Mr. Cross and Mr. DeLorenzo will be the two candidates for Distefano’s seat.
    I already saw our local chamber CEO seating on arrival close to De Lorenzo.
    Commissioner Petersen also spoke as a resident only “against district one choice that will leave Cross out of the race”. Sometimes we need to go to some meetings at least, to make Freedom ring!
    If bad choices are presented and we do nothing about them “nothing will be improved”. But if we do something about then maybe “something good will come out of it ” Today it did! I am not a Tea Party fan and will vote for the best candidate after we learn what they will stand for if elected.

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  12. Dorothea says:

    Palmcoaster, just read Pierre’s column delivering the bad news. If the only choice I have is between Delorenzo and Cross, I’ll take Delorenzo. At least he cares about the future of Palm Coast. Hopefully a third candidate will pop up.

       0 likes

  13. Richard says:

    Stop whining ! It’s not the gonernments fault that we are in a drought.. Have we reached the point that we blame our government for the weather? Blame God…if you must blame someone/something!

       0 likes

  14. Dale says:

    Well, I hope Richard’s suggestion to “blame God” was tongue in cheek; actually, we need to thank God that things aren’t much worse . Some of you remember ’98. I sure do. But even then we didn’t have people dying . This time around we’re losing a lot of trees and some wildlife, and smelling a lot of smoke, but we need to thank God – and our firefighters of all departments – that it isn’t a disaster of the proportions that other Americans further north and west have suffered in recent months. As for the drought, “This, too, will end”, and people will be cussing the rain every afternoon.

       0 likes

  15. ol'sarge says:

    Richard…nobody is blaming Scott for the lack of rain, just the lack of action…

       0 likes

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