wildfire

Prescribed burns are a part of precautions taken throughout Florida to prevent massive forest fires by clearing flammable debris from the ground. They are meant to keep people safe, but one such burn was quite the opposite.

In the Panhandle town of Eastpoint, one of these burns grew out of control on June 24 and burnt down 36 homes. 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr

Florida faced 32 active wildfires Monday, as dry conditions in parts of the state continued to pose a threat for blazes. 

Florida’s top agriculture official wants more funding to fight wildfires. Firefighters worked hard to control this year’s burns, before heavy rainfall cut the season short. But winter weather conditions could fuel more fires in 2018. 

Florida officials are urging residents to take precautions and comply with burn bans as forecasts predict even drier conditions going into the spring and summer.

As of Monday, more than 2,000 wildfires had burned throughout Florida since the start of this year, and state officials say more than a 120 wildfires continue to burn.

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning because of the number of wildfires burning around Florida.

Officials say wildfires in Florida have already burned 2 1/2 times more land in the first three months of 2017 than during the same period last year. There are more than 100 active wildfires across more than 20,000 acres.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the state hasn't seen this active of a wildfire season since 2011.


This year the dry season has been abnormally dry, which has earned Southwest Florida the classification of being in a “severe” drought by the National Weather Service. Fire officials say that drought is now prime fuel for wildfires.