Due To Increased Wildfire Risk Gov. Rick Scott Declares State Of Emergency
On Tuesday afternoon Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida due to the threat of wildfires this year.
There are currently 107 wildfires burning in the state, affecting over 23,000 acres, said the Florida Forest Service per abc action news. Fires in Hernando, Broward, Nassau, Pasco, Mario, Glades and Collier counties are still burning now and have destroyed seven homes and 17,000 acres.
A couple of months ago in Polk County a wildfire ignited and is still active. The fire destroyed twelve homes and 5,500 acres in the Indian Lake Estates neighborhood and River Ranch area.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has Florida listed in severe to moderate drought conditions. Throughout the whole Southeast moderate drought conditions are seen and officials believe they will only worsen in the coming weeks.
“I’ve continued to be in contact with Commissioner Putnam and local officials about the wildfires across the state and today I am declaring a state of emergency in Florida to ensure we are ready to respond to and prepare for these fires,” says Scott to abc action news.
“Much of Central and South Florida are approaching drought-like conditions and the chances for wildfires are continuing to increase with hotter temperatures and low rainfall,” says Scott to abc action news. “This may only get worse as we enter the hotter summer months and it is crucial that we take every action right now to be prepared.”
Scott’s Executive Order 17-120 calls for the Director of the Division of Emergency Management to activate the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to deal with the state’s wildfire threat.
“From St. George Island in the Panhandle to a wildfire just north of one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions in Orlando, we’re seeing that every area of our state is susceptible to wildfire,” says Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “May God bless our brave firefighters who are working tirelessly to protect us.”