Area Fire Danger Getting High

The forecast calls for sunny, warm, dry weather which makes it the perfect time for spring cleaning, but these beautiful weather conditions may also be leading us to one of the worst wild fire seasons in years.

National drought monitors show conditions are abnormally dry across the Florida panhandle. This makes sunny, warm and dry the perfect ingredients for a fire burst on your yard.

This has Bob Rhea of the Florida Division of Forestry worried.

“People doing spring cleaning, cleaning up around their home, racking you know, cutting, trimming leaves, grass, racking up pine straw things of that nature and then burning it, and we recommend that they burn it in a barrel or a pit, not on the open ground."

Lower than normal rainfall has brought us to this, drying grass and already dry soil and even though the rain forecast doesn't look very promising over the next few years. Wildfire officials say there are a few things you can do to help out, starting out by keeping your lawn lean, clean and green.

Bob Rhea says clean out around structures.

“Cutting limbs and trees back from your homes, cleaning out gutters, keeping the grass mowed and irrigated."

At the present time there are no burn bans in effect for Bay County or the surrounding counties, and in the case of an escaped fire on your property, Division of Forestry officials say you may be held liable for the charges of putting out the fire and all other damages that may be related.

Rhea advice is to keep a shovel, a rake and a good source of water close, as you do your yard work, and if you're planning on burning your debris, Rhea stresses to keep your eyes on the fire at all times.