Flagler County was among the hardest hit during the Fire Storm of 1998. Now officials fear an arsonist may be on the prowl.
Brush fire in Flagler Estates under investigation
By LISA MILLER
A brush fire in Flagler Estates Wednesday caused minor damage to one home and left four-to-five acres burned, its cause under investigation by St. Johns County Fire-Rescue.
The brush fire was in the 4200 block of Florence Avenue and was reported to the county just after 2:40 p.m. The home was in the 9700 block of Ebert Street and it received minor damage to its siding and pump house, according to Robert Dowling, county fire investigator. He said the fire's cause was not known late Wednesday afternoon.
The fire occurred during a peak time of the year for wildfires.
May and June are typically the peak months of Florida's year-long wildfire season, according to Timber Weller, fire mitigation specialist for the Florida Division of Forestry.
Weller said that despite the recent "hit or miss" rainfall, much of Florida is at an elevated risk of wildfires.
Sunny and breezy weather can dry up rainfall quickly, Weller said, and pine straw, leaves and grasses can dry out in a few hours. The result is the forest and brush can become primed to burn within a day or two.
According to the Florida Division of Forestry Web site, since Jan. 1, there have been 57 fires in a district that includes Flagler, Volusia and St. Johns counties.
Of those 57 fires, more than 148 acres were burned, the report said.
The state as a whole has had more than 1,200 wildfires this year, which burned more than 10,000 acres, Weller said.
He added that those numbers could increase dramatically in the next few weeks, if areas do not get significant amounts of rainfall.
During this time, Weller asks that residents refrain from burning yard debris or any other activities that might cause a fire.
Weller said human activity causes more than 80 percent of all Florida wildfires. About half of those fires are the result of carelessness.
However, homeowners can take precautions that will greatly reduce the risk of wildfire losses:
Remove leaves, pine straw and debris from roof and rain gutters.
Remove or reduce flammable material near buildings. Provide at least 30 feet between a home and potential wildfire fuels (forest, brush, firewood, propane grills).
Landscape with nonflammable mulch and choose plants that have a high moisture content.
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05-24-2003, 06:59 AM #1
Flagler County Fla--Officials Investigate Suspicious Brush Fire09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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