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Florida Forest Service alerts public of state wildfire risks

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Forest Service recently urged Floridians to exercise caution due to significantly heightened wildfire risks throughout the state.

While Florida has received recent rainfall, drought conditions throughout the state are expected to continue.

The Florida Forest Service has battled more than 700 wildfires across the state in 2018.

Putnam said that Florida’s wildland firefighters have proven time and again that they are prepared to put their lives on the line to keep Floridians safe.

He added, though, that all Floridians can do their part by keeping preventable human-caused wildfires at bay.

As of Friday, March 23, there were 41 active wildfires throughout Florida.

And reports show that most of the wildfires this year have been caused by escaped yard trash burns.

Jim Karels, Florida State forester, pointed out that many of this year’s wildfires have been human-caused, Karels said that it was imperative that Floridians be cautious with fire to help protect Florida’s residents, natural resources and wildland firefighters.

Visit the Florida Forest Service’s wildfire information webpage to view an interactive map of current active wildfires; drought and fire danger forecast information; and a list of current county burn bans.

Floridians also can download the Florida Forest Service’s “FLBurnTools” app to access wildfire conditions in real-time.

Prescribed burn practitioners also can use the app to plan and submit authorization requests.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance for more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service also is responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.

Learn more about the Florida Forest Service at

By: Special to The Herald