Combination of fireworks, dry conditions blamed for spate of blazes

Blazes caused by fireworks popped up throughout the Tampa Bay area on New Year's Day, said Dave Fogler, a supervisor with the Florida Division of Forestry.

One reason was that it was windy and dry, Fogler said, which didn't mesh well with the ignition of explosives.

"People don't understand how quick and easy it is," Fogler said. "One little spark, and suddenly it's off to the races."

The largest fire on Saturday was 78 acres near St. Joe and Missionary roads close to Dade City. It began about 11 a.m., and four homes were in danger.

"We put a plow line in somebody's yard," Fogler said. "We barely got between the fire and the house."

That fire was contained. No residents were evacuated.

Another fire in Pasco County was 24 acres and shut down a portion of State Road 56 near Bruce B. Downs for an hour. The fire was contained, and no structures were threatened.

In Hernando County, crews contained a 35-acre blaze near Anderson Snow Road in Brooksville — just in time to race to another fire.

"It's going to be that kind of day," Fogler said.

Later on Saturday, crews arrived at a new fire, off Champion Drive in Brooksville.

Fogler urged people to resist lighting fireworks.

"Please stop," Fogler said.

Combination of fireworks, dry conditions blamed for spate of blazes 01/01/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 2, 2011 10:30pm]

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