Multiple Brushfires Along Railroad Tracks

Forest Ranger Mullin

Dry Weather Pattern Causes Fires To Catch Easily

2/14/2022 Highlands County, Fl

Multiple brushfires along a railroad in Highlands County caused railroad companies to shut down their tracks for a few hours on Monday. Highlands County Fire Department and multiple units from the Florida Forest Service fought the blazes on both sides of the tracks. The fire was burning in an approximately 30 year rough. The fuel was mostly 10 foot palmettos and oak trees. This caused many issues for the firefighters due to the denseness of the vegetation. Florida Forest Service dozers were able to break through the palmettos and establish fire breaks to slow or stop the spread of the fire. Fire department units were able to follow up and put out any lingering flames or smoke. The fire had jumped into a pasture and made a 5 acre run before it was stopped by brush trucks. The size of this fire was approximately 50 acres. Another wildfire in Glades County started along the tracks a few minutes later. Florida Forest Service and Glades County Fire Department were on scene and quickly put it out. During the dry season, sparks from trains can occasionally start fires while the train is moving.

Florida fire season typically begins January 1st and ends June 1 of each year, with peak season being mid-March into April. Florida has unique flora that can burn even when there is sufficient rainfall. These vegetative fuels have a high amount of volatile oils. These oils cause the plant to easily catch fire and spread to other flammable plants. During the winter-spring dry season, these plants can be a problem for firefighters during a brushfire.

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Highlands CountyPhoto: Chuck Mullin

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Wildland Firefighter, Public Information Officer, Florida Fire Safety Inspector, Wildfire Season Updates for Okeechobee and surrounding counties(Glades, St lucie, Highlands, Indian River, Martin) , Public service announcements regarding fires and relevant detours and road closures due to smoke and fire.

Okeechobee, FL
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