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Rainfall eases wildfire threat, but officials urge caution

Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 11:30:52-05

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — State officials say rainfall has improved conditions across much of the Florida Panhandle, but the volume of dead trees and vegetation left by a Category 5 hurricane in 2018 remains a threat for additional wildfires.

The Florida Forest Service says that without additional significant rainfall, the debris left on the ground by Hurricane Michael will quickly dry out and serve as fuel for wildfires.

In the meantime, firefighters are continuing to improve containment lines on the Chipola Complex fire and monitor any new activity. The rain was a break from days of dry, windy conditions that had fueled three wildfires in and around Bay County.