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Conditions Even Worse for Fires in Florida This Weekend

May 6, 2017

Conditions are favorable for the rapid spread of wildfires across Florida this weekend.

On Saturday, a Red Flag Warning was issued for all of east-central and northeast Florida.  Strong winds and low humidity were observed in these areas, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue the warning. Relative humidity values were at less than 30 percent, and when this is combined with frequent wind gusts greater than 15 mph, it makes any fires likely to grow rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended, and even banned in many counties.

Smoke from wildfires may reduce visibility in nearby areas, especially during the late evening and early morning hours.  This was the case Saturday in the Jacksonville metro area, where a Dense Smoke Advisory was also issued.



The ongoing drought impacting most of the region isn’t helping. According to the United States Drought Monitor report from May 4, most of North Florida was experiencing abnormally dry conditions and a moderate drought.



The current dry pattern will remain in place through Friday, as high pressure will dominate the local weather pattern. High temperatures will likely warm to the 90s by Wednesday, which will also aid in the growth of fires. A weak front is expected to pass through Friday, which is the next opportunity for any rain across the state.

Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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