CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The Cape Coral Fire Inspector has ruled the cause of the brush fire along Pine Island Road yesterday as undetermined.
The five-acre fire broke out yesterday afternoon and took firefighters from Cape Coral, North Ft. Myers and the Florida Forest Service nearly two hours to bring under control. Winds fanned the fire and access was difficult in certain areas due to the larger trees that restricted vehicle egress.
Firefighters were able to stop the fire’s forward progress and declared the fire was contained by 6:00 pm Wednesday evening. Firefighters returned to the scene Thursday morning to extinguish several spot fires burning near the cleared containment lines.
While this fire is classified as Undetermined, many brush fires are suspicious in nature. The number one reason for wildfires in the U.S. is people. Man-made combustions from arson, human carelessness, or lack of fire safety cause wildfires annually, with half of Florida wildfires are started by humans. People who burn yard trash like leaves and sticks risk the fire burning out of control especially when there are windy conditions like was observed yesterday. Burning pieces of trash can be blown away by the wind, which in turn could cause a fire in another location. Wildfires can also be caused by campfires and bonfires either not fully or properly extinguished, or windy conditions taking hot embers from the fire to another location. The stronger the wind and the drier the ground, the faster fires will spread.
The Florida Forest Service encourages anyone with information about a fire believed to be intentionally set should call 1-800-342-5869. Ask to speak to the District Manager or Fire Investigator responsible for the area involved.
If the caller's information leads to the apprehension of an arsonist, the District Manager will recommend that a reward be paid. If approved, the minimum reward is $100.00 and the maximum reward is $5,000.00. If requested, the identity of the caller will be kept confidential.