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Hurricane Michael Put Panhandle at Greater Risk of Wildfire

March 12th, 2019 by Mike Vasilinda

The amount of dead lumber on the ground after Hurricane Michael has forestry officials worried, in part because landowners may not have the means to have it removed.

Forestry officials briefing the Governor Tuesday said the costs of a fire could be in the tens of millions and that Florida will wither have to pay to get the timber off the ground or to fight massive fires.

“If we don’t get breaks in there. If we don’t start to remove that debris, we’re going to see catastrophic fire, and that catastrophic fire in these kinds of advances is going to mean big air that I’ve I got to bring in on a federal contract that we bring in around the nation. But you could see fires that are running ten to a hundred million dollars, similar to the west, if we don’t get rid of the debris,” said State Forestry Director Jim Karels.

The timber has been on the ground since October.

The state CFO says it has about one more month to be salvaged before it becomes too decayed to harvest.

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