The ABCs of fire safety
- Top causes of wildfires, according to the Florida Division of Forestry:
1. Burning debris or trash: People should pay close attention to drought and wind conditions before burning anything in their yards, and be aware that small fires can jump and spread quickly.
2. Arson: There have already been a reported 78 incidents of arson, resulting in more than 1,380 burned acres, just this year.
3. Equipment fires: Fix faulty brakes or anything that might spark, and be careful about parking hot engines or machines over dry grass.
4. Children: Kids are fascinated with fire and like to play with lighters and matches. They have caused at least 31 fires this year.
5. Campfire: It might look like it's fully extinguished. It's probably not.
- Top 3 reasons why we should care
1. The economy: Wildfires have a major impact on Florida's timber industry, which lessens the amount of money coming into the state.
2. Wildlife and environment: Wild animals have always had a natural ability to escape fires, but it's more difficult when they're trapped between housing developments. Smoke affects air quality.
3. Your own money: Even if you're doing an authorized burn, and the fire spreads by accident, you can be fined as little as $100 and as much as the cost of putting out hundreds of acres of brush fire.