SWFL firefighters predict severe brush fire season

NAPLES, Fla. — Firefighters are preparing for a greater brush fire risk than in years past.

Florida had over 2,700 brush fires this year, state records show, and firefighters predict the upcoming brush fire season will be even more severe.

“We’ve had rather wet dry seasons,” said Eric Watson, assistant chief of the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District. “While that’s good at the time, that wet dry season is creating extra underbrush that ultimately is the fuel for the brush fires.”

Abnormally dry conditions have been in place across Southwest Florida, WINK News Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell said.

“It’s already been a drier dry season than average,” he said. “We’ve only had two-tenths of an inch of rain in the past two and a half months, and it looks like it will continue to be extra dry.”

North Collier firefighters are helping contain brush fires by conducting controlled burns. They’re also going door to door to let people know they need to have 30 feet of space between their homes and any brush or wooded areas.

The space allows fire engines room to maneuver and also creates a buffer to prevent fire from spreading.

Also, it’s important to clear roofs and gutters of debris, firefighters said.

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