National Forests in Florida
U.S. Forest Service
Tallahassee, FL 32303
THIS WILL BE THE FINAL UPDATE FOR THE CLEAR LAKE FIRE
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 15, 2018 – After two days of strategic firing operations, USDA Forest Service fire fighters have strengthened firelines around the Clear Lake Fire and prevented the fire from spreading. The fire, burning in the Clear Lake Wilderness Study Area on the Apalachicola National Forest, is now 80% contained.
Agency officials anticipate the fire will be 100% contained this weekend. USDA Forest Service officials have determined the fire was human caused, but the fire is still under investigation.
“We thank everyone for being patient as we worked on the fire this week,” said USDA Forest Service fire official Jason Lago. “It reminds us that fire season is just around the corner and the importance of fire prevention.”
Humans cause nearly nine out of ten wildfires. In 2015, nearly 59,000 human-caused wildfires burned more than two million acres. Most people think “human-caused wildfires” means arson, but people cause fires with unattended campfires, sparks from equipment or vehicles, backyard activities, cigarettes and children playing with matches.
Wildfires can be prevented in many ways. If you’re heading outdoors, be safe with your campfire. Pick the right spot, prepare your campfire pit, build your campfire responsibly and maintain and extinguish your campfire.
Sparks from lawnmowers, power equipment and vehicles also can start wildfires. It pays to take these steps to prevent them. Mow lawns, not weeds or dry grass. Metal lawnmower blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires. Keep a shovel and fire extinguisher handy. Install spark arresters on portable, gasoline-powered equipment. Get equipment checked regularly. Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can set grass on fire.
Also, a few simple precautions outside your home will help prevent wildfires. Check local regulations and ordinances before you burn. Burn vegetation, not household trash, plastic or tires. Avoid burning near power lines, overhanging limbs and other potential hazards. Stay with your fire, make sure it’s completely out and check the burn area for several days. Surround your home with a fire-resistant zone. Grill with care. Dispose of charcoal briquettes carefully. Make sure they are out cold.
Together, we can prevent wildfires and work toward a safe fire season in 2018.
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