VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Forest Service’s wildland firefighters are battling a wildfire in Volusia County within the Tiger Bay State Forest.
Forest Service officials estimate the fire is about 25 acres. As of Thursday around 3 p.m., no structures were in danger. The fire is named the Dukes Island Road Fire.
Smoke from the wildfire is causing some visibility issues to U.S. Highway 92. Drivers are asked to use caution.
The wildfire comes as Central Florida has been experiencing dry conditions for weeks and winds could fuel potential fires in dry areas.
Local firefighters said they have been swamped with brush and wildfires recently. Fires take days, even weeks, to put out and some then rekindle.
“We are at a wildfire level two and that basically doubles the amount of trucks that respond to brush fires at this time,” said Scott Smoak, a Battalion Chief for Volusia Fire Rescue.
He said the threat status can go up to a level three when they would triple resources but that’s something they’re ready for.
“We do have the ability to hire off duty personnel on their days off to man additional brush trucks if needed,” he said.
Florida is in peak brush fire season with the heat, wind, and dry air.
Smoak said they can be caused by lightning strikes but the root cause is people having fires when the humidity is low or being careless.
“They may throw a cigarette out of a window while they’re driving down in a car, catches the grass on fire, eventually the trees and the woods on fire. People towing trailers, chains coming off the trailers or they’re dragging something from a trailer that causes sparks,” he said.
Smoak said to keep a close eye on your landscape this time of year, too.
“The best thing to do is have a defensible space around your house. We recommend a minimum of thirty feet. Trim up your trees. Make sure your yard is well manicured and irrigated at times.” he said.
According to the Forest Service, the danger for wildfires is high to very high in Volusia, Brevard and several other Central Florida counties. All of the state is under at least moderate fire danger, according to the fire danger index. The index ranges from low to extreme conditions.