In addition to continually monitoring the situation in Flagler County, Fire Rescue firefighters stand ready to assist other counties battling blazes throughout Florida.
Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito reported to County Administrator Craig Coffey over the weekend that crews are staying in the local area because regional, state and federal resources have already been deployed to the hardest hit region of the state – southwestern Florida.
As of today (April 24), the Florida Forest Service was reporting 115 active wildfires in the state, 31 of them larger than 100 acres, including the State Road 100 Countyline fire at the Putnam-Flagler county line, now pegged at just under 1,000 acres. Numerous fires are concentrated along the I-4 corridor. There are also five fires on federal land that have burned a total of 66,000 acres. State wildfires so far this year have burned 88,434 acres.
“When they are needed, we have developed type 1 engine strike teams, and wildland task force teams to handle any request for local or regional assistance,” Petito said.
The Bunnell District of the Florida Forest Service has 13 bulldozers available, and will respond to every fire with two of them, as well as a supervisor to unify the command post. Flagler County FireFlight is currently the only air resource that is available locally. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has pledged local assistance if Flagler County Fire Rescue requests it. Governor Rick Scott late last week declared a state of emergency statewide.
“There is no sign of significant rainfall in the very near future for our region,” Petito said. “Any new fires will require a roster and catalog of resources, along with an Incident Action Plan to track our work.”
Twenty-one counties in the state have declared burn bans as of this week. While there is currently no countywide burn ban in Flagler, it is being considered. The Florida Forest Service stopped issuing any type of burn permits statewide. Fire officials ask that everyone use extreme caution with flammable materials outdoors. The last time a burn ban was in effect in Flagler was in 2012, when it was in effect for six weeks until Tropical Storm Beryl made it unnecessary.
“There were new starts in Sumter, Lake, Okeechobee and Glades,” Petito said. “Most of these fires have human causes.” Residents and homeowners should also take a few steps to protect their structures.
The rule of thumb accepted by a variety of fire prevention agencies, including the National Fire Protection Association, is that all flammable within 30 feet of a structure should be removed. This includes stacks of firewood, portable propane tanks and dead, dry vegetation.
For more information, go to www.flaglercounty.org/firewise.
Active Wildfires As of April 24:
Considers a Countywide burn ban? We should already have one in effect!!
Hey brainiacs!!!! Stop “considering” the ban and DO IT NOW!!! Weren’t you here in 1998!?!
Just sayin' says
“CONSIDER this a warning Palm Coast”—“Play with fire and your gonna get burned Flagler County officials”
You’d think you would’ve learned, I’ve been through 2 major fires in this county one in 1985 and 1998….
Friday May 17, 1985 two large wildfires burned through the County. One fire started near the Old Haw Creek Road and burned all the way to the coastline just south of Flagler Beach. Many homes in Korona and the Seminole Woods subdivision were burned or damaged. The second fire started west of US1 near the Hargrove Grade. It burned through Palm Coast and was stopped by Graham Swamp. About 130 homes were destroyed and hundreds more were damaged in the two fires.
June and early July of 1998, the county was ravaged by wildfires. Our station was used to house many of the firefighters from out of the area. The training room was converted into a bunk room. The entire county was evacuated in early July due to the wildfires.
Concerned Citizen says
Burn ban needs to go into effect ASAP. It is so dry in some parts of the county it won’t take much to get something going. We don’t need another 98 and Thunderstorm season is around the corner.
Been behind several vehicles lately that threw lit cigarette butts out the window into grass. Number 1 you’re littering. Yes littering and number 2 it’s an ignition source.
If you have to smoke be considerate and have some way to extinguish it. Maybe in a water bottle. Nasty yes but at least you aren’t littering and setting fires :)
I’m all in with anonymus “”” Considers a Countywide burn ban? We should already have one in effect!!
Ban all fires before its too late.