Wildfire on Lake Okeechobee, Curry Island started with arson

PALMDALE — On Saturday, Jan. 12, the Florida Forest Service (FFS) and Glades County Fire Department responded to several arsonist-set wildfires on the western part of Lake Okeechobee, Curry Island at Vance Whidden County Park. Dried-out marshes fueled the inaccessible, 300-acre wildfire. Even though the wildfire posed no immediate threat to structures, smoke impeded visibility […]

For Lake O eco-management, fire is healthy

PALMDALE — When asked during a recent conversation at the fire tower station here for any offbeat or funny stories about serving in the Florida Forest Service, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Melissa Yunas recalled one right away. “Danny and I became really good friends…” she started while Senior Ranger Danny Callahan gave a skeptical look and […]

Tower, Forest Service are Florida’s sentinels and protectors

PALMDALE — The Florida Forest Service’s (FFS) fire observation tower dominating the scrubby, pine-and-palm-dotted landscape of central Glades County was built decades ago as one of the first early warning systems designed to detect and assist in suppressing natural disasters. But it’s still a crucial tool today for protecting lives and property against wildfires. Although […]

Know the law before burning yard waste

Often residents desire to burn yard waste but aren’t sure if it is legal to do so. According to the Florida Forest Service, it is legal to burn yard waste without a permit as long as there are no city or county restrictions in effect at the time and you meet certain restrictions: • You […]

Hurricane Irma affects fire intensity

PALMDALE — Over the weekend, county and state firefighters suppressed three large wildfires in western Glades County. Hurricane Irma had toppled many large pine trees in Glades County, increasing the size, complexity and intensity of all three of these wildfires because of widespread destruction of vegetation. “The extra vegetation on the forest floor adds more […]

Hurricane Irma effects fire intensity

PALMDALE — Over the weekend, County and State Firefighters suppressed three large wildfires in western Glades County. Hurricane Irma toppled over many large pine trees in Glades County increasing the size, complexity and intensity of all of these wildfires due to widespread destruction of vegetation. “The extra vegetation on the forest floor adds more fuel […]

Prescribed burning to prevent arson-caused wildfires on Lake Okeechobee

MOORE HAVEN — Within the last two weeks, Glades County Fire Department and the Florida Forest Service contained several arson set wildfires on Curry Island on the western part of Lake Okeechobee. In an effort to prevent future wildfires from igniting, a prescribed burn is planned for April 4, weather permitting. Under the right weather […]

Reducing wildfire risk on Lake Okeechobee

MOORE HAVEN — The Florida Forest Service in collaboration with South Florida Water Management District, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be conducting a prescribed burn on Friday, March 2, weather permitting. The prescribed burn will consist of approximately 7,000 acres of dried-out marsh on the rim of […]

Reducing wildfire risk and improving ecosystem health on Lake Okeechobee

MOORE HAVEN — As Lake Okeechobee’s water level drops to fifteen feet, the Florida Forest Service in collaboration with South Florida Water Management District, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a series of prescribed burns around the western shore of Lake Okeechobee, weather permitting. The initial burn […]

Drought information

    Drought Information from Bryan William – FL Forest Service’s Meteorologists. Around 82 percent of the state still remains at least “abnormally dry,” and around 66 percent of the state remains under some sort of drought. We will be getting some relief next week, as rain chances look to range between 30 percent and […]