State Firefighters from the Florida Forest Service arrived to assist the Okeechobee District with wildfire suppression from:
• Jacksonville District
• Wacccasassa Forestry Center
• Suwanee Forestry Center
• Perry District
• Chipola Forestry Center
The last time this had occurred in the Okeechobee District was 2011. When resources came in from North Florida to help our local first responders.
A firefighting bulldozer strike team from North Florida is staged in Okeechobee County. There are five firefighting bulldozers and 12 State Wildland Firefighters in addition to a mechanic with the team. Every morning the team receives a briefing on weather, safety and current fire status with the Florida Forest Service, Okeechobee District Manager. The team is then split up with two firefighting bulldozers going to the Treasure Coast, one firefighting bulldozer stays in Okeechobee County, and two firefighting bulldozers go to Highlands County. Their first day, April 8, the strike team of firefighting bulldozers responded to Glades County for the 488-acre Ferguson Wildfire. Since then the team has responded to over a dozen wildfires in Highlands, Glades, Okeechobee & Martin County.
Due to the increase in fire activity, additional firefighters who specialize in suppressing wildfires with heavy equipment was needed. The additional resources allow local State Wildland Firefighters an opportunity to rest, maintain their equipment and respond to new wildfires with reinforcements.
In addition, a strike team of engines & State Wildland Firefighters are in route to Highlands County to facilitate mop-up the large muck fires.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than one million acres of state forests, provides management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests, while protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.
For questions about burn authorizations and wildfire prevention, please contact your local Florida Forest Service: Glades County 863-674-4000.