Florida Forest Service Gives Wildfire Update

May 24, 2017
Originally published on May 23, 2017 3:55 pm

Officials with the Florida Forest Service say recent rains are not enough to tamp down the hundreds of wildfires raging across the state. Parts of the state are still in a drought.

“I got my fingers crossed that the patterns are changing, but we’ll see," said Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service.

This past winter was the second warmest in Florida’s history and one of the driest. Karels said a couple days of rain doesn’t make up for months of below average precipitation.

“So, we’ve got a ways to go yet," he said. "A lot of fire starting to develop in the conservation areas - the conservation lands. Everglades down there is two fires about 5,000 acres each."

More than 200,000 acres have burned and Karels is keeping an eye on a South Georgia fire near Baker County. Ahead of the holiday weekend, many counties have burn bans in place.

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