Wildfires cause state of emergency in Florida
The state of Florida is uder a state of emergency due to over 116,000 acres of wildfires currently burning across the state. Combined with high drought levels, the fires present potential risks to the region and the state of emergency allows agencies to prepare for the worst case scenarios, though none of the fires are out of control.
According to a statement by Gov. Rick Scott’s office, the state is experiencing severe drought conditions.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) says the average for the State is 649 (0 represents saturated soil and vegetation conditions; 800 represents extremely dry soil and vegetation conditions), with the highest values across Northwest Florida and along the Florida East Coast.
In conjunction with the drought conditions, the Division of Forestry has advised that there are approximately 310 active wildfires burning approximately 115,583 acres throughout the State.
- A brush fire in the Espanola area of Flagler County has been burning since May 30, 2011, and has now burned an estimated 3,000 acres; and
- A large brush fire in the Okefenokee Swamp area of southern Georgia has moved into Baker County in Florida and has burned an estimated 168,423 acres, including 600 acres in Florida; and
- Multiple fires in Levy County have been burning since April 26, 2011, and have now burned an estimated 4,594 acres; and
- A brush fire in the Everglades area of inland Miami-Dade near the Miccosukee Indian Reservation has been burning since June 5, 2011, and has now burned an estimated 68,000 acres. This is in addition to a fire that was just recently put out in Big Cypress Preserve.
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