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Dry conditions, lack of rain could cause wildfires

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Paynes Prairie suffered from drought for much of 2012.” credit=”Ethan Magoc / WUFT News

Florida has not received a heavy dose of rain in more than a month, prompting concerns about potential wildfires. Cooler weather causes dry air conditions, which leaves the underbrush vulnerable to wildfire.

The components that can create wildfires are: relative humidity below 35 percent, lack of rainfall for two weeks or longer and strong, dry winds.

Ludie Bond, a wildlife mitigation specialist, said the winter months are typically considered grassfire season in Florida because cooler weather causes the grass to burn.

“If you look around North Central Florida right now, all of the prairies and grassy areas are brown and dry,” Bond said.

Residents should use caution when lighting fires around grassy areas. There are not any burn bans in the state of Florida, but the dry conditions will cause vulnerable fields to burn easily, Bond said.

Mina Radman edited this story online.

About Mina Radman

Mina is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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