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Gadsden County officials warn about wildfire risk

Posted at 6:19 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 18:19:05-04

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — With temperatures nearing 100 this and next week, Gadsden County leaders have raised concerns about the potential of a wildfire.

“The temperature verses no rain, you know it does create that environment to have fires that accelerate very quickly," said Major Shawn Wood, the Gadsden County emergency management director.

A few months ago, Gadsden County declared a state of emergency due to the risk of wildfires starting with Hurricane Michael debris. Now with the increase in temperatures, there's even more cause for concern.

"It's a grave concern because communication is not always the best and these communities are very rural," said Major Wood.

The Florida Forestry service is hoping to get the word out about the increasing threat of a wildfire in Gadsden county, because all it takes is one spark. In some cases, all this debris is so dense firefighters wouldn't be able to get to a fire if one started.

"We're concerned about the materials on the ground there and the dryness because if a fire does start there, there are some access issues that could happen," said Todd Schroeder, who works with wildfire mitigation.

Major Wood says the county is still not under a burn ban, but urges residents to adhere to the forestry guidelines if they want to burn.

Residents who choose to burn must remember that if their fire is more than 8-feet in length, they must call the Florida Forestry Service at 850-681-5800.