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Wildfire Safety Rules

Keep gutters and eaves clear of yard debris, sticks, pine needles and leaves.
Trim all trees to height of at least 6-10 feet off of the ground.
Develop a disaster plan, including a plan to rapidly leave your home and having two ways out of your subdivision.
Follow all local regulations for burning of yard debris.
Contact your local Division of Forestry office for specific tips on what you can do to make your home, property and subdivision "Firewise."
Visit www.firewise.org for more landscaping and construction tips.
Fire Weather
Weather is one of the most significant factors in determining the severity of wildland fires. The spread rate and intensity of fires is directly rated to the wind speed, temperature and relative humidity. Climatic conditions such as long term drought also play a major role in the number and intensity of wildfires.
Fire Weather Watch
A Fire Weather Watch is issued when Red Flag conditions are expected within the next 72 hours.
Red Flag Warning
A Red Flag Warning is issued when forecast weather conditions together with existing environmental conditions could result in extreme fire behavior or, as in the case of dry lightning, extensive fire starts within the next 24 hours.
FLORIDA WILDFIRES

Since 1998, more than 15,000 wildland fires have devastated 1 million acres of Florida's landscape and destroyed more than 750 structures. The physical damage alone is difficult to calculate, let alone the emotional trauma.

Wildfire destruction has taken center stage in our state due to rapid population growth in the wildland-urban interface. The interface is the area where homes and subdivisions border or mix into the wooded lands. Wildfires spread rapidly into these areas burning homes and other structures.

Florida's long-term drought conditions have caused more wildland fires. This weather phenomenon has created a dry environment for wildfires to rapidly spread, rather than be limited or quickly controlled. And with more people choosing to live in or near wooded areas, firefighters spend much more time protecting homes and families rather than controlling wildland fires. Additionally, Florida's record-number of thunderstorms and lightning events create hundreds of new wildfire starts each year.

"Firewise" is a new educational program to help the public understand more about what they can do to protect their property from future wildfire strikes. This program is coordinated through the Florida Division of Forestry and the Department of Community Affairs, Division of Emergency Management, in cooperation with the National Wildland Coordinating Group and the National Fire Protection Association.

The Firewise web site can be found on the Internet at: www.firewise.org. Information is also available from local Florida Division of Forestry offices or the Florida Division of Emergency Management