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Updated: 11/21/2013 08:00:00AM

Dry season near, residents should prepare for wildfires

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With the transition from wet season into dry season in our region, the Florida Forest Service is asking area residents to prepare for an increase in wildfires.

“If you live near nature, then you can be at risk for wildfire danger,” states Melissa Yunas, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist.

Dry season is when vegetation starts to lose moisture and goes into a dormant state. Grass vegetation will slowly dry out due to a diminishing of daily rainfall; typically winter wildfires are smaller but more frequent. Grass wildfires can be very dangerous and fast moving.

“Residents can help the state’s wildland firefighters,” Yunas said. “Take the time to remove anything that will burn from your roof, gutters and the sides of your home.” This includes pine needles, leaves, small twigs, and palm fronds. “Keep nature at least 30 feet from your home,” she stressed.

Yunas said there are seven highly flammable plants in our piece of Florida. They can be identified by visiting and searching the “When Nature is Your Neighbor” publication.

Yunas suggested calling the local Florida Forest Service office for tips on reducing wildfire risk. That telephone number is 863-655-6407.