Dry conditions are keeping the service on their toes with brush and wild fires, but according to the Florida Forest Service this mini-drought is healthy and even good. Brian Goddin Florida Forest Service spokesperson, "About every three to five years it is estimated that lightning would strike would occur and would basically allow Florida and the eco system here to replenish itself, so fire is good."
Natural fires can be beneficial but only 1 in 4 fires are caused by nature. "Wild fires are started by man. Most usually carelessness", said Goddin.
With the environment ripe for flames it's important to recognizes signs of a dry times. Goddin said, "You look around you see a lot of pine trees are being to turn a little bit amber because they are struggling and they are a little stressed, it's defiantly dry out there."
Once you see amber pine, be cautious, fires can start in some unsuspected ways. "Whether it be from an escaped yard debris fire or criminal activity like arson, it could be even as simple as a vehicle going down the road and the tire blowing out hot chunks of a tire and the heat getting to some dead grass on the side of the road.", said Goddin
Other culprits of fire include grilling outdoors on an open flame. Try to use a contained grill for cooking. No burn bans are in place and the Forest Service is confident that this mini-drought will safely pass if people use caution.
Goddin says that as of this time last year the service had fought 140 wild fires compared to this years 100. They are celebrating the lower number and hope people will be cautious as this dry weather continues.