3 ways to protect your home during wildfire season

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Wildfire season is here and there’s a high risk for fires sparking with the dry conditions expected Thursday.

According to The Florida Forest Service and The Weather Authority, this season is stacking up to be a bad one with the warming conditions and not enough rain through May.

Forest fires can happen at any time in the state of Florida. However, there are several other factors that could fuel a fast-spreading fire, including dry conditions, high winds, and dead vegetation left over from hard freezes. 

Northeast Florida has already shown signs of being in moderate to high risk for wildfires. That's why folks at home need to be prepared and pay attention.

3 simple changes to make around your home:

Taking the time now to make some changes can protect your family and make a difference in the long run.

  1. Your roof is one of the most vulnerable spots of your home. Remove all debris from it and gutters. Zone 1 is the space from your front door to 30 feet around your home. This is the space where you really have to be careful. Don't leave anything flammable. Like tree limbs, brush.

  2. Heat from a wildfire can cause windows to break. The Florida Forest Service recommends installing dual-paned windows with tempered glass to cut down the chances of breakage.

  3. Have an evacuation spot for your family already picked out, and make sure everyone knows the route ahead of time. As we saw with the West Mims fire in Georgia, and the Bryceville wildfire in Nassau County last year, some had no choice but to abandon their homes at a moment's notice.

The Florida Forest Service says it will be conducting prescribed burns to help reduce dead vegetation so it won’t easily spark. But if burns become a problem, Florida Forest says they may have to hold off and put their resources and equipment to different use.
 
People are advised to pay attention to burn bans that may be in effect. Florida Forest Service has many tips on how to protect your home and your property. You can find more information here.

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