National Fire Prevention Week kicks off after a little relief of dry weather

Fire prevention

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - On Sunday, there was a little relief from the dry weather we’ve been having. The dry conditions and high temperatures can be dangerous and that’s why the Florida Forest Service are warning people about wildfire threats around the state.

The fire danger maps don’t show any data for Sarasota and Manatee counties, but for our neighbors to the north, Hillsborough County, the index is ‘very high.’ In the meantime, new statewide safety rules on prescribed burns include more restrictions on burning fields like sugar cane.

“Public safety comes first and that is that we don’t have wildfires being able to regulate these burns to make sure we’re protecting our lands,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.

Some of the new rules prohibit burning at night and before 11 a.m. on foggy mornings. Florida Forest officials agree as wildfire conditions are escalating.

“We have a large population, we got to protect the citizens and we have to make sure we do as much as prescribed burnings, so we don’t have a California type state for wildfires,” said Jim Karels, Director of Florida Forest Services.

At the same time, fire departments across the country kicked off its National Fire Prevention Week.

The Sarasota County Fire Department is working along the National Fire Prevention Association for this year’s theme is “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.” They hope informative events like this one can teach the community on how to avoid a tragedy.

“We have fire demos, special operations, rescue, extrication,” said Captain James Mattera.

Fire officials say to keep a smoke alarm in every room and look for all available exits. Sarasota firefighters say they’ll have their doors open any time someone has any questions.

“If you have any questions or concerns, come your local fire station, contact us, whatever you need,” said Mattera.

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