CURRENT FLORIDA FIRES: The Florida Division of Forestry maintains the Fire Management Information System (FMIS) which is a mapping system that depicts all current fires, including prescribed burn locations.
HOW TO GAUGE DROUGHT: The U.S. Drought Monitor depicts long-term drought conditions.
HOW TO GAUGE WILDFIRE DANGER: Forestry and emergency officials use the Keetch-Byram drought index to show how susceptible the state is to short-term drought and burning. Anything yellow, orange, or red will burn readily. Purple is considered "desert-like" conditions.
SMOKE HEALTH ISSUES: Be aware that smoke from fires can cause breathing problems, especially those with pre-existing breathing impairments. Consult your physician for recommendations if you are having problems.
ROAD CLOSURES: Smoke from wildfires often impact roadways, including major interstates. When traveling, be aware of smoke conditions as visibility can reduce to nothing quickly. Be prepared for possible stopped vehicles, road closures and detours. For a current listing of road closures in Florida, go to FHP's website: here Also try Florida's free traffic conditions system by calling 511 or clicking here.
BURN BANS: When wildfire conditions are bad, individual counties may issue bans on outdoor burning. The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may also issue a statewide ban.
EVAPORATION: Keep in mind that an inch of rain can evaporate within 24 hours in the Florida sun and heat.
LIGHTNING: Cloud-to-ground lightning sparked by summertime thunderstorms is a major contributor to new fires.
CIGARETTES: The discarding of lit cigarettes or matches during drought conditions is dangerous, reckless, and even a crime.
PERSONAL PREPAREDNESS: There are steps FSU students and employees residing in suburban or rural settings can take to prepare for and minimize the risk of damage from wildfires at home.
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