Fire Danger

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Now that spring is here, it doesn't only mean spring breakers, it also signals the peak of the wildfire season.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning and fire watch for the panhandle and the Division of Forestry has increased their fire warning to level 3. That means there are good conditions for a wildfire to start and get out of control, something that's caused major problems in the past.

"Florida has a fire season that lasts all year long, but during the months of March through the end of May we're at a heightened period of activity. Bay County has had a number of fires, between 500 and 1,000 acres in the last couple of years, and they all occur from the beginning of March through the end of May."

While Bay County and much of the panhandle is under a high fire alert right now, there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent a brush fire.

"Common sense is definitely part of it, having the right tools on the scene if you're going to do any type of burning, burning in an enclosed pit or barrel, keeping the surrounding area around the fire, the material that you're burning, which is vegetation only if you're doing it without authorization and having a source of water nearby."

The optimal conditions for a wildfire are long periods without rain, low humidity and gusty winds.

For more information on wildfires, visit or