The Suncoast is in the height of fire season

Fire season safety

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Right now, we are in the middle of prime time for brush fires that could quickly grow out of control.

In fact, on Thursday afternoon, Bradenton Fire crews were battling a brush fire in a wooded area behind 34th Avenue Drive East. That fire was successfully put out.

The Florida Forest Service’s Myakka River District, which includes both Manatee and Sarasota Counties, is the fourth driest district in the state.

The Fire Service has also been monitoring a fire right off of Gettis Lee Road for the past few weeks. That fire was extinguished for good after a brief rain shower Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve just closed out three fires we have two open, some areas have been because of lightening over the last couple of days and we’re telling people to be careful because it’s been extremely dry,” Mahoney said.

High temperatures and dry land are a perfect mix for brush fires. Patrick Mahoney from the Florida Forest Service says fire season is year round in Florida but February to June is the height of the season.

“We have a 12 month grow season therefore we have a 12 month fire season," Mahoney said. "Usually we start to get rains about now coming into the wet time and the rains are slow coming in so right now we’re the fourth driest district.”

Mahoney says although it’s dry and hot there are ways you can help prevent fires. Leaves and twigs around your home can help keep a fire going.

“Right now it would be a good time to make sure your roof and gutters are cleaned out, just take a minute to get up there and check that’s been taken care of,” Mahoney said.

He also says if you see a lightening strike to call it in right away. “Because that lightening strike can go down into the ground go underneath and come up later in the day,” Mahoney said.

On Wednesday, along I-75 near the Manatee River, a brush fire caused a major backup for drivers. Mahoney says to prevent fires like that from happening avoid parking cars in tall grass which can cause grass to catch on fire.

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