SWFL sees high fire danger going into Thanksgiving

Published: November 24, 2021 7:19 AM EST
Updated: November 24, 2021 7:26 AM EST

Southwest Florida is in for a long stretch of no rain, which means a high fire risk. If you live in a place like Lehigh Acres, Golden Gate Estates or any other wooded area, it’s a recipe for danger. With so many people getting together for Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to remember some safety tips.

If you have to cook outside, maybe frying your turkey, keep a close eye on the bird. But even if you’re just by the fire pit, make sure to keep debris far away. Every year, brush fires are caused by lit cigarettes being thrown or someone playing with fire. Remember how much damage those small actions can make; the wind can blow at any point and cause a fire that spreads quickly through drier areas.

“Making sure the area is clear, there’s not a lot of debris, there’s not a lot of low-hanging branches that may be caught by the flames,” said Andrea Schuch, public information officer for the Cape Coral Fire Department. “And then we want a source of extinguishment to be nearby, so that could be a bucket of water, a charged water hose.”

Even if you’re not outside, Thanksgiving is the number one day for indoor kitchen fires, so try to limit the number of people running around in the kitchen. If you’re boiling something or cooking something in the oven, you want to make sure that somebody is in the home at all times, and be sure to set a timer.

“That will really help decrease the chance that there would be a kitchen fire, because we want everybody to have great holidays, enjoy the food that they’re cooking, Schuch said. “And while the firefighters will be on call and available for anybody who needs us, it’s much more fun to have the firefighters not come visit your home with your family on Thanksgiving.”