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Wildfire season starting to ramp up in Northeast Florida ahead of wet summer months
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Wildfire season starting to ramp up in Northeast Florida ahead of wet summer months

Wildfire season starting to ramp up in Northeast Florida ahead of wet summer months
Photo Credit: Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Firefighters work on a controlled burn at a wildfire, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Members of the California Army National Guard don protective suits in preparation to search for human remains at the Camp Fire, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

A Butte County sheriff's deputy makes a note while recovering the body of a Camp Fire victim at the Holly Hills Mobile Estates on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. Thousands of homes were destroyed when flames hit Paradise, a former gold-mining camp popular with retirees, on Nov. 8, killing multiple people in California's deadliest wildfire. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Denise Chester, an evacuee of the Camp Fire, hugs her son Antonio Batres as she volunteers sorting clothes at a makeshift shelter in Chico, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Chester, who doesn't want to know yet whether her home survived, said "I want to help. I don't want to shut down." (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

California Gov. Jerry Brown, second from left, looks at a students work book displayed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, that was found during a tour of the fire ravaged Paradise Elementary School Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. The school is among the thousands of homes and businesses destroyed along with dozens of lives lost when the fire burned through the area last week. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Members of the California Army National Guard search a property for human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Search and rescue workers look for bodies of Camp Fire victims at the Holly Hills Mobile Estates on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sheriff's deputies recover the bodies of multiple Camp Fire victims from a Holly Hills Mobile Estates residence on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Firefighters recover the body of a Camp Fire victim at the Holly Hills Mobile Estates on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. Thousands of homes were destroyed when flames hit Paradise, a former gold-mining camp popular with retirees, on Nov. 8, killing multiple people in California's deadliest wildfire. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sheriff's deputies recover the body of a Camp Fire victim at the Holly Hills Mobile Estates on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sheriff's deputies recover the bodies of multiple Camp Fire victims at the from a Holly Hills Mobile Estates residence on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

This Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 file photo shows Paramount Ranch, a frontier western town built as a movie set that appeared in countless movies and TV shows, after it was decimated by the Woolsey fire in Agoura Hills, Calif. Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 photo, a charred rabbit that survived the fast moving Woolsey wildfire sits still in the Simi Valley Recreation Center and Park in Simi Valley, Calif. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. Officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/Jason Ryan)

n this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 photo, a sign designating the Corral Canyon Park recreation area stands amid landscape charred by the Woolsey fire in Malibu, Calif. Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. Officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

This Dec. 13, 2015 photo shows Paramount Ranch, a frontier western town built as a movie set that appeared in countless movies and TV shows, in Agoura Hills in Southern California. It was destroyed in the Woolsey fire. Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 85 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area, where officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2015, file photo, an inmate from the Trinity River Conservation Camp watches over a prescribed burn on Mule Mountain in the Swasey Recreation Area near Redding, Calif. Creating fire buffers between housing and dry grasslands and brush and burying spark-prone power lines underground would give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, experts say. So would controlled burns, a proven, historic practice that has been neglected in recent decades. (Greg Barnette/The Record Searchlight via AP, File)

FILE - This Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, shows charred trunks of Ponderosa pines near Sisters, Ore., months after a prescribed burn removed vegetation, smaller trees and other fuel ladders last spring. Creating fire buffers between housing and dry grasslands and brush and burying spark-prone power lines underground would give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, experts say. So would controlled burns, a proven, historic practice that has been neglected in recent decades. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

FILE-In this March 10, 2015 file photo, firefighters burned about 30 acres of oak woodland Tuesday, March 10, 2015, during a prescribed burn along the eastern edge of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Shasta County, Calif. Creating fire buffers between housing and dry grasslands and brush and burying spark-prone power lines underground would give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, experts say. So would controlled burns, a proven, historic practice that has been neglected in recent decades.(Andreas Fuhrmann/The Record Searchlight via AP)

FILE - In this March 8, 2018 file photo, National Park firefighters start to run to keep ahead of a controlled burn near the Abrahms Fall trail head in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn. Creating fire buffers between housing and dry grasslands and brush and burying spark-prone power lines underground would give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, experts say. So would controlled burns, a proven, historic practice that has been neglected in recent decades. (Tom Sherlin/The Daily Times via AP, File)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 photo, a sign near the entrance to the Corral Canyon Park recreation area stands amid a landscape charred by the Woolsey fire in Malibu, Calif. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. Officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 photo, goats are cared for at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large animals after being evacuated from the wildfire in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 85 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area, where officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 photo, a young deer lies where it fell, trying to outrun flames from the Woolsey fire, just 30 yards from the ocean in the Solstice Creek bed below Corral Canyon Park in Malibu, Calif. Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area, where officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 photo, a sign near the entrance to the Corral Canyon Park recreation area stands amid a landscape charred by the Woolsey fire in Malibu, Calif. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. Officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, that all trails were closed. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

FILE - This Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 file photo shows Paramount Ranch, a frontier western town built as a movie set that appeared in countless movies and TV shows, after it was decimated by the Woolsey fire in Agoura Hills, Calif. Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Tape marks a spot where sheriff's deputies recovered the body of a Camp Fire victim on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. Thousands of homes were destroyed when flames hit Paradise, a former gold-mining camp popular with retirees, on Nov. 8, killing multiple people in California's deadliest wildfire. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Wildfire season starting to ramp up in Northeast Florida ahead of wet summer months

Wildfire season is ramping up in Northeast Florida because April is one of the driest months in the area, and it only takes one spark to start a devastating fire.

Action News Jax Chief Meteoroligist Mike Buresh says the fire forecast doesn't look terribly bad for the local area at the moment. He says timely rains have done a good job to wet things down just enough. 

But Buresh says we won't hit the true wet season until late May or after that, so the worry is a dry week or two mixed with a lightning strike in the wrong spot. 

"It can happen any time," says Annaleasa Winter of the Florida Forest Service. "We just go a couple days, a couple of weeks without rain; and if we remember the fire season of 1998, we were flooding going into that season. So anything can change." 

She says the key thing to remember is to be prepared. That means you should have a supply kit and an evacuation plan in place. 

"When the time comes to evacuate, do so immediately," Winter says. 

A lot of areas in St. Johns, Baker and Nassau counties consist of new developments in what used to be rural areas. Safety experts in those cities say that makes it even more important to pay attention to weather and the possibility of a fire starting at any time. 

"It's always a concern when we have so much fuel in areas where we've got people coming in, moving in and building houses, so it's something we're always keeping an eye on," says Greg Foster with Nassau County Emergency Management. 

By fuel he means pine straw and dry leaves or wood.

Winter says the worst weather conditions each day are between 2 and 5 p.m. She says that's when the moisture content is the lowest, and the flammable materials are more likely to ignite. 

"People need to think about that when they're burning yard debris," Winter says. 

She says the long-range forecast through the summer is showing above average temperatures and above average precipitation, so that means it should be an average fire season. 

For a full breakdown of the upcoming fire season with advice from multiple area experts, you can listen to the 2019 Wildfire Special on New 104.5 WOKV on Monday at 6 p.m.

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