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Dry Season in Florida Leads to Wildfires

6 Mar 2017, 9:45 am

The dry season in Florida usually brings tranquil and beautiful weather. Winter and early spring is commonly the driest periods in the Sunshine State. With low precipitation over the “snowbird” months, March to May is when wildfires are the most problematic. Rainfall totals over the 30 days are running about 50% percent of normal, about 1″ to 3″ below average across the peninsula.

[Credit: Instagram/jlynneu via Storyful]

A 50-acre brush fire broke out near The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on Sunday. As firefighters continued to battle the blaze, police closed a number of roads in the area, including a section of the I-95 Highway as large plumes of smoke billowed overhead.

[Credit: Instagam/gizmowalterthecorgi via Storyful]

The Sun-Sentinel reports that two fires burned 700 acres in the area. The northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens were closed in both directions for about five hours due to smoke, Florida Highway Patrol officials said. Wind gusts up to 40 mph made it difficult to fight the flames.

The Miami Herald reports that 670 acres burned in Western Miami-Dad Country by Sunday evening, from what was called the Trail Fire. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assisted the forestry service throughout the day by trying to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes. Local officials say the fire may worsen early this week as the wind increases.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Florida’s Turnpike had to be closed Saturday afternoon and evening from a 40 acre fire near the Canoe Creek Service Plaza in Osceola County. A smaller brush fire near the Turnpike in Hialeah Saturday morning slowed traffic as smoke plumes crossed the road.

A brush fire in Hudson, Florida, engulfed trees and vegetation along the Old Dixie Highway on March 3, prompting authorities to suggest voluntary evacuations to local residents, according to according to WTSP. Firefighters were able to protect homes from damage and no injuries were reported. Pasco County Sheriff Captain James Steffens took this dramatic video while en route to aid firefighters tackling the 50-acre fire.

[Credit: Pasco Sheriff/Capt. James Steffens via Storyful]

The fire season in Florida ends as humidity levels climb throughout May and into June as the tropical rainy season begins.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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