What is a wildfire?
A wildfire is an undesirable fire occurring in the natural environment. Each year more than 100,000 wild land fires occur in the United States.
How does a wildfire start?
About 90 percent of wildfires are started by humans; the other 10 percent are started by lightning.
Three components are necessary to start a fire: oxygen, fuel and heat.
- At least 16 percent oxygen must be in the air for a fire to start (our atmosphere contains 21 percent).
- Fuel is any living or dead material that will burn. Fuels such as dead plants, dry leaves, pine needles and grass burn more readily than most green plants because the dead material contains less moisture.
- Heat is usually supplied by a lightning strike to a tree or dry grass. People also can provide heat by carelessly starting a fire or leaving a fire unattended.
What are the top 3 causes of wildfires in Florida?
- Escaped Debris Burning
How does weather influence wildfires?
Weather is one of the most significant factors in determining the severity of wild land fires. The intensity of fires and the rate with which they spread is directly rated to the wind speed, temperature and relative humidity. Climatic conditions such as long term drought also play a major role in the number and intensity of wildfires. Accurate and timely weather information is vital to the planning and execution of strategies for suppressing wildfires. An accurate weather forecast can mean life or death to a fire fighter and is also critical in protecting forest and range lands as well as the increasing number of homes in the wild land urban interface.
What should I do when there is wildfire danger?
If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening the area you are visiting, stay tuned to your radio or television for evacuation information and updates. It is very important to follow the instructions of local officials. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
What should I do if I receive a wildfire warning?
Keep your radio and television tuned to a local station for fire reports and evacuation information. Make sure your escape route takes you away from dangerous areas and that you have proper transportation. Contact the management where you are staying for more details.
What should I do if I have been advised to evacuate?
Make sure infants, children and other family members are present before you drive off. Load pets into car. Leave immediately.
Where can I get more information about Florida wildfires?
For additional information about Florida wildfire preparedness, please refer to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.