Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wildfires are in FL too

I lay here in a haze of smoke. On a dock in Miami beach listening to the ocean splash against the beams beneath me. I can look out across Biscayne Bay and see the amazing homes on the other shore. I can turn my head a bit to the left and see the skyscrapers in the distance but they are clouded by the smoke. A plane flies overhead carrying a banner, undoubtedly marketing directed at the tourists laying on a not so distant beach. I can’t read the message, not because I have bad eyesight but because the sky isn’t clear enough. As I lay here and thing of all the stuff going on in our atmosphere at the moment, I realize I didn’t apply sunscreen. I don’t like sunscreen. I need to wear sunscreen, in my case, not to prevent a burn but to prevent skin damage. Unlike the dry landscapes; in Georgia, in the Everglades and throughout Florida, my skin does not easily burn. This is why I neglect sunscreen. Skin burns as a sign; protect your skin. The wildfires are burning as a sign that the land was too dry. These fires are at a current state of uncontrollability. They have been burning since I arrived over a week ago. While FL may be the lightening capital of the world, wild fires are becoming more common as of late. This bit of knowledge prompts me to consider what causes wild fires. Lightening, along with arsonists are the two biggest catalysts so humans and nature. That being said, one must also consider the necessary conditions for a wild fire; dry grass, leaves and trees. If wild fires are more prevalent now, one could reason that rainfall to the same areas has decreased. Can we relate this to global warming? I’m sure everything can be blamed on global warming these days and that’s not what I want to do. The point that I am trying to lead into is the fact that humans have an obvious impact on the earth and vice versa. These fires have caused roads to close, people to stay indoors and in the extreme for people to evacuate their homes. Since I wrote this on May 12th, I did a bit of research. As of May 18th there were 174 fires, down from 190 the previous day. Here's a bit of a report on a few of them, notice the cause was lighteing forall. "WILDFIRE OVERVIEW Florida Bugaboo Fire –Yesterday, fire crews dug into a four-foot deep peat bog and found an active fire burning. There are many areas like this within the fire interior, so the fire will be here for sometime to come. Firefighters are widening the fire lines by dropping fire retardant (or “slurry”) from air tankers. These bombers can spread retardant over an area 50 foot wide by 500 foot long. At 10:00 a.m. today, mandatory evacuations were lifted for the area from Lassie Black Road south on the west side of US-441 and Burlap Road (forest road 263) south on the east side of US-441. Residents were allowed to return home but were urged to stay packed and ready to leave if conditions change. Mandatory evacuations still impact between 400 and 500 homes from the Lassie Black Road north to the Florida-Georgia line. A portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail from Olustee to White Springs is closed. There are more than 25 Florida counties and cities that have provided personnel and equipment, which does not include the forest fire fighters which come from all over Florida and the United States. Cause: lightning. Dairy Road Fire –The Dairy Road Fire is in Bradford County. Total is presently at 15,000 acres. On May 8th, one residence was damaged and two outbuildings were destroyed. Cause: lightning. Balsa Fire –The 18,027-acre Balsa Fire is in Collier County about 12 miles east of Naples. On May 8th, 12 residences at 54th Avenue & Lee Williams Road were evacuated. Three homes & 3 outbuildings were destroyed. Cause: lightning. Deland Complex –The Deland Complex is composed of three fires – the 6,575-acre WF Airport Road Fire in Flagler County (85% contained), the 850-acre Red Oak Fire in Lake County (95% contained) and the 2,600-acre Lee Fire in Lake County (95% contained). This complex has been managed by the Division of Forestry’s Blue Incident Management Team since May 4th. Two outbuildings were destroyed on the Red Oak Fire. Causes: under investigation. Middle of Nowhere Fire -The 6,500–acre Middle of Nowhere Fire started on May 3rd in Charlotte County. General location is off Highway 31 behind Fire Station #9. Fire is in cypress swamp with heavy fuel. No immediate threat to structures. Cause: lightning. " from

1 comment:

Walzi said...

Sounds bad. Come back soon, there are no wildfires in Germany. Oh, and did I mention there are no dangerous animals here, too? ;-)

But I'm glad to hear you like your job, by the way!