TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency in Florida because of the recent brush fires and abnormally dry conditions that are conducive to the increased threat of more brush fires this year.
The governor's executive order Tuesday authorizes the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management to activate the state's comprehensive emergency management plan to mitigate the threat. It also seeks direct assistance from the federal government and calls for the activation of the Florida National Guard.
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"Much of central and South Florida are approaching drought-like conditions, and the chances for wildfires are continuing to increase with hotter temperatures and low rainfall," Scott said in a statement. "This may only get worse as we enter the hotter summer months, and it is crucial that we take every action right now to be prepared."
Scott said there are more than 100 active wildfires across more than 20,000 acres in Florida.
A brush fire that burned last week in Broward County lasted several days and scorched about 6,800 acres.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said this has been the most active year for wildfires since 2011.
"It is incredibly important that wildfire response is swift and deliberate, and this state of emergency will make it easier for our state, regional and local agencies to quickly work together to protect our families, visitors and communities," Scott said.
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