Agriculture Press Release
December 3, 1999
Wildfire Threat Is Growing in North Florida, Crawford Warns
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford is warning North Florida residents of the increasing wildfire threat caused by growing drought index levels and recent freezing temperatures.
"Rainfall amounts already are significantly below normal, and we are entering what is traditionally Floridas driest season," Crawford said. "This weeks low humidity and freezing temperatures will increase the amount of dead vegetation which can fuel wildfires."
According to state forestry officials, drought indices are at 500 or above in several North Florida counties stretching from Panama City to Perry to Jacksonville. The Keetch-Byran Drought Index ranges from 0 to 800, with 800 being "desert-like" conditions.
"With hunting season beginning and holiday vacations upon us, I am urging everyone who goes outdoors to be cautious and help prevent wildfires," Crawford said.
Crawford urged residents to take precautions to help protect their homes and property from the threat of wildfire. Among the steps recommended by Crawford to minimize problems:
Rural landowners also can reduce the likelihood of wildfire destroying their property by taking additional steps, Crawford said. They include:
For additional information about wildfire prevention, citizens are encouraged to contact their local Division of Forestry field office, or visit the Division of Forestry web site at www.fl-dof.com .
For more information: