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Rain is a Mixed Blessing For Firefighters

May 16th, 2008 by flanews

More than 100 wildfires continue to burn across the state today. A total of 29 homes have been destroyed and dozens of others have been damaged. Rain is offering some relieve, but as Whitney Ray tells us, its a mixed blessing.

Hear it Here: Rain is a Mixed Blessing For Firefighters

Firefighters in Franklin County have all but won their battle with the wildfire.

Were still doing mop ups, still marching around the houses we burned out and just continuing to monitor it and keep it in, said Victor Rowland, forest area supervisor.

Rowland spent the day checking houses and making sure fires didnt reignite. After four days of fighting the flames firefighters got some relief early Friday morning when it started to rain.

Fifteen new fires greeted firefighters Friday morning. Fatigue is not a factor yet, but the rain can be a double edge sword.

What were seeing with this front coming through with some lighting in it, especially some positive lightening strikes, which give us fits. There the ones that cause ground strikes and can cause vegetation to ignite and then we have other fires to take care of, said Gerry LaCavera, a spokesman with the Florida Division of Forestry.

Residents across the state are being cautioned to be cautious this weekend when cooking outdoors. Burn bans are in place in six counties. Back in Franklin County the rain may pay dividends in the form of smoke signals.

The rain hadnt got in there and penetrated and put it out, but at least its got in there and cooled it off and then it starts smoke and we can see where more of the smoke is and then we can come in and mop that up, said Rowland.

Rowland says theyll keep on eye on the charred forest until theres a significant rain, a tedious, but preferable task given the job fire crews in 13 other counties face where the battle rages on.

Florida Forestry Crews have been helping fight fires in Texas The Division of Forestry has called those crews back home and is now asking Texas to return the favor. The six counties under a burn ban are Hendry, Alachua, Flagler, Volusia, Putnam and Sumter.

Posted in Environment, State News, Wildlife | 1 Comment »

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