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Wildfires Burning in Southwest Florida

Multiple wildfires broke out in South Florida on Wednesday east of Naples, merging into one large fire as of Thursday.

Very dry conditions and gusty winds have made it difficult for firefighters to increase containment numbers.  As of late Thursday evening, the fire was only at 10% containment with at least 8,500 acres burned in this area.

Cities west of the wildfire including Naples, FL, will experience poor air quality from smoke that is blowing in from the east.  Make sure to limit your time outdoors especially if you have any respiratory illnesses.

Windy conditions will pose a concern for both spreading and creating new wildfires over the next couple of days, with sustained winds between 15-20 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The lack of rain in the forecast will also be worrisome as dry conditions will persist through the weekend. Some rain will be nearby on Friday, hopefully close enough to bring some relief to this fire-stricken location.

This is not the only wildfire burning in the Sunshine State, and with current drought conditions continuing it will take several good rain events to help ease the increased fire danger.


We were able to speak with Melinda Avni from the Florida Forest Service to get the latest on the wildfires both in South Florida and across the state.

About the author
Meredith is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist as designated by the American Meteorological Society.  She was born and raised in Cleveland but has worked from coast to coast covering almost every type of weather.  Meredith is a weather, space, and STEM journalist and has been live out in the field during destructive tropical storms on the Gulf Coast of Florida, raging wildfires in Southern Cali... Load Morefornia, and covered the wreckage from tornadoes in the Great Plains. In 2009, she reported on the damaging hail storm during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and in 2017, the historic California winter storms that produced record rain totals and devastating flash flooding.  Prior to joining WeatherNation, Meredith worked at KEYT/KKFX in Santa Barbara, CA, KOTA-TV in Rapid City, SD, WWSB-TV in Sarasota, FL, and began her career as an intern at WGN-TV in Chicago.  She was Santa Barbara's "Favorite Weathercaster of the Year" in 2016 and the Community Partner of the Year in 2017 for her volunteer work with Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties and awarded with the 2018 Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award. Meredith is the current chair of the American Meteorological Society's Station Scientist Committee, which focuses on raising greater awareness & outreach when it comes to science education for viewers.  She's also an accomplished journalist, producing weather and science stories including rocket launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the new GOES-16 satellite and it's impacts on weather forecasting.  Meredith was personally invited by NASA's Johnson Space Center to interview astronauts on the International Space Station and was the only meteorologist in the nation to do an exclusive report accompanying the GOES-West satellite from Colorado to Florida, reporting on and covering it's launch in 2018.  Meredith's also worked on features that took her paragliding along the coast, white water rafting in Northern California, learning to surf in the Pacific Ocean, and how to be an aerial photographer while flying a single engine plane! Say hi on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn!

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