Dry conditions heighten fire risk

Dry conditions, steady winds mean higher brush fire risk

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SOUTH FLORIDA - Dry conditions combined with steady winds are the prime ingredients for potential wildland fires, and fire officials are urging South Floridians to take extra measures to ensure their safety.

In just a moment, a brushfire can go from "under control" to potentially damaging property. All it takes is a discarded cigarette to set off an enormous and dangerous fire.

Prevention is the key in helping to reduce the number of human-caused fires.

The following tips are offered to protect lives and property:

  • Shrubs, brush, wood piles and combustible debris should be removed within a radius of 30 feet from your home.
  • The distance between your house and any nearby tree should be a minimum of 10 feet.
  • Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris.
  • Place connected garden hoses at all sides of your home for emergency use.
  • LPG tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of a fire.
  • Store gasoline in an approved safety can, away from occupied buildings.
  • Ensure that you and your family know all emergency exits from your home.
  • Ensure that you and your family know all emergency exit routes from your neighborhood.
  • Around your home, make sure limbs are cleared back a safe distance from any overhead power lines.  If you think there's a problem, call your power company to clear the limbs.
  • Never dispose of a cigarette anywhere but in an ashtray or other proper receptacle.

Wildfires can cause major environmental, social and economic damage. The loss of timber, wildlife habitat, homes and even lives may result from a devastating wildfire.

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