With so many fires burning in so many states I thought I would try and focus each blog on a different state especially those in which Virginia has deployed resources. The first such posting today will focus on Florida. Virginia has 11 people and 5 engines/brush trucks there now. I just talked with our Task Force Leader who said it was very hot, dry and busy. Actually the fire they are on, the Espanola Fire was currently making another strong run “breaking over” control lines, he could not talk long.
Below is a short write up of about the more significant fires in Florida, the Espanola Fire is bolded and following the info will be several pictures/images from Florida.
In addition the Southern region just went to preparedness level 5, the most sever level of preparedness.
PREPAREDNESS LEVEL 5
Description: Several units are experiencing major fire or all-hazard incidents which have the potential to exhaust all resources, while numerous new fires or resource commitments continue to occur. Most, if not all, the resources within the Area are committed. As resources become available, they are immediately reassigned to other incidents. The majority of support is coming from outside the Area. No break in the weather is predicted for at least 72 hours.
The above map with all the reds and purples is a map of what we call the KBDI or Keetch Byrum Drought Index. The index goes from a low of 0 to a high of 800. At 800 it is considered desert like conditions, a rainfall amount of 8 inches would be needed to get back to ground saturation. And that kind of rain is no where in sight.
Impassable Bay (Osceola NF) 900 acres new growth reported. 15 miles NE of Lake City, FL. Burning in southern rough. Major run to South with spotting. Disabled helicopter in the fire area was protected. Continue to strengthen control lines. 20% contained
Espanola (Florida Division of Forestry) 1,306 acres new growth reported. West of Palm Coast, FL. The fire is being managed by Florida Red Type 2 IMT (Graham). Burning in southern rough. Continue to widen lines and work toward containment. 40% contained.
Santa Fe (Florida Division of Forestry) 500 acres new growth reported. Santa Fe Swamp, Bradford County, FL. Grass fire. Aerial suppression with T-25, A-A, and T1 and T2 helicopters yesterday. 25% contained.
Maytown Road (Florida Division of Forestry) 600 acres new growth reported. Near Maytown, FL. Burning in southern rough. Continue containment and mop-up. Received rain and lightning. 1 spot was contained yesterday. 0% contained.
Lake Wimico (Florida Division of Forestry) 100 acres new growth reported. Reduction in acreage due to more accurate mapping. North of Highway 98 in Southern Gulf County. Grass fire. Fire is inaccessible in a swamp. Potential to grow to 1,000 acres by Wednesday. Continue to monitor until suppression activities are possible. 0% contained.
Prairie (Florida Division of Forestry) No new growth reported. West of Miami, FL. Grass fire. Continue to monitor smoke impacts to Krome Ave and mop-up. 90% contained.
C-4 (St. Vincent NWR) No new growth reported. 4 miles SE of Indian Pass, FL. Grass fire. Continue to mop-up and patrol. 90% contained.
4A (Apalachicola NF) No new growth reported. 4 miles West of Tallahassee, FL. Burning in Southern Rough. Interior burning of islands. Continue monitor and mop-up. No new information received. 85% contained.
Bad Land (Florida Division of Forestry) No new growth reported. Bronson, FL. Fire received trace amounts of precipitation. Continue mop-up. 60% contained.
Doc Whitfield (Florida Division of Forestry) No new growth reported. Fire is burning in southern rough in Gulf County. Continue to monitor and mop-up. 85% contained.
Swamp (Florida Division of Forestry) No new growth reported. Near Bronson, FL. Burning in southern rough. Fire is creating problems on local roads with smoke impacts and falling snags. Continue mop-up. 60% contained.
Whispering Pines (Florida Division of Forestry) 2,135 acres new growth reported. South Central Orange County, FL. Burning in southern rough. Whispering Pines, Staghorn, and Laser Range fires all burned together. 100% contained.
The Gov of FL was at a recent press confrence thanking all the firefighters who were working so hard including those from KY and VA.