SARASOTA (WWSB) -Summer storm season is making its way to the Suncoast, which means there's an increased risk for dangerous lightning strikes and fire.
The Florida Forest Service said some things homeowners can do to prevent fires caused by lightning strikes is to maintain your lawn, bushes, and trees and cut them low. They also recommend to clean out your gutters because any debris in them could spark a fire.
The dry brush plus the higher temperatures and low humidity are the perfect combination for a fire to start if something is struck by lightning. The Florida Forest Service said when these thunderstorms do occur to make sure to monitor where the lightning is striking and check that location for up to 72 hours.
"If you actually see a lightning strike hit a tree, contact 911. And let them know that you had a lightning strike and saw it hit the tree. They'll be able to come out and assess that that tree did not actually catch on fire internally," said Logan Hatch, who is Duty Officer with The Florida Forest Service.
Last year The Florida Forest Service responded to 26 fires caused by lightning in our district. A majority of the fires started by lightning strikes did occur in North Port.