The Sunshine State has been witnessing record high temperatures and extremely dry conditions in the past week. The combination of these Florida weather conditions has caused wildfires to sweep across the state, damaging properties, closing roads, and forcing evacuations for impacted areas. With a large number of fires currently blazing across 7,215.4 acres, local disaster management teams have had their hands full.
Low humidity, lack of rainfall in stricken areas, and an uncharacteristically dry spring season seem to be the cause of these fires according to The Weather Network.
The Florida Panhandle is among the most severely impacted areas, with most of the fires occurring there. Santa Rosa County alone has seen the brunt of the blazes with over 2,000 acres going up in flame, followed by Escambia County at 1,405 acres.
Farther south, areas like Naples and Miami have also seen unusually high temps for the season, with 16 consecutive days of over-90 degree weather — 14 of which were record highs for Miami. These high temperatures are more commonly seen in June.
Two massive wildfires in the 5 Mile Swamp, which covers 2,215 acres, and the Hurst Hammock fire covering 1,248 acres have been 75 percent contained as of Monday, May 11.
🚨WILDFIRE UPDATE🚨 The #5MileSwampFire is 2,215 acres and 75% contained. The #HurstHammockFire is 1,248 acres & 75… https://t.co/GHcahbMjRy— FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services (@FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services)1589204519.0
As of publication, 79 total fires are charring earth across the state. The current number of wildfires is updated regularly on the Florida Division of Emergency Management GeoPortal.
While firefighters work to keep the flames contained, relief in the form of weather patterns is yet to be seen.
Meteorologist Jacyln Whital with The Weather Network reported that with 28% humidity, the dry air leaves little chance for rain for at least the next seven days.
It has been so ridiculously hot in #Miami this April, it is now tied for the hottest May in Miami history, and woul… https://t.co/oqR3e0tIVM— Eric Blake 🌀 (@Eric Blake 🌀)1587812753.0
While we may see some rain over the weekend, it's predicted to start falling in south Florida and not where the fires are currently raging.
Excessive rainfall in Miami and Key Largo of 6 or more inches could even lead to flooding. Be sure to stay up to date with conditions in your area and take necessary precautions to stay safe.