Environment

FWC Asks Anglers to Help With Red Snapper Research

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) request angler assistance with a research project focusing on red snapper caught in Florida offshore waters. This project will provide fisheries researchers and managers with vital catch-and-release survival information needed for assessing the status of this important recreational fishery.

Even Monday's Rain Can't Squelch Raging Wildfires

Even Monday's Rain Can't Squelch Raging Wildfires

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Parts of the First Coast got some much-needed rain Monday, but the Division of Forestry said that even this wet weather hasn't been able to tame the wildfires raging in several counties.

According to DOF spokesperson Annaleasa Winter, the heaviest rain hit in areas, like Southside and Mandarin, that don't have any fires burning.

In fact, Winter said it's possible that lightning strikes from the storms coming though the area Monday may have started some new fires.

DOF investigators believe the lightning is to blame for fires along County Road 209 and near the Dee Dot Ranch on the Southside.

St. Johns County Health Dept. Warns of Risks Associated With Wildfire Smoke

 

The St. Johns County Health Department and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) caution citizens that wildfire smoke is a respiratory irritant that can cause scratchy throat or irritated eyes and nose.  Smoke can also worsen conditions such as asthma and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions.

Pulmonologist from St. Vincent's Warns of Health Effects from Wildfire Smoke

Pulmonologist from St. Vincent's Warns of Health Effects from Wildfire Smoke

Phyisicans at St. Vincent's Medical Center are warning people about the health effects of the smoke from recent wildfires.  Doctors say they are seeing a rise in the number of patients complaining about irritation from smoke.

Pulmonologist Dr. Thomas Szwed, who works at St. Vincent's Medical Center, says people exercising outdoors may feel the effects.

First Coast Firefighters Prepared for Another Season Like '98

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- There are 75 fires burning in our area right now. So are we gearing up for a summer like 1998? Experts say it's near impossible to tell.

"It's not really a good place to speculate what we could or couldn't see in reference to what we experienced in '98," said Jeremy Robshaw with St. Johns County Fire and Rescue.

The Division of Forestry estimates the fires of 1998 caused more than $620 million in damage in Florida. Back then, 132,000 acres were burned in Northeast Florida and about 200 homes were destroyed. The fires raged throughout the state for two months.

Fire departments across Northeast Florida added staff and created emergency response plans in the wake of the '98 fires. They also brought on specialized tractors that hold more water to get into the more rural areas. And in addition to the equipment, the firefighters themselves are more prepared.

St. Johns County Extends Burn Ban for 90 Days

St. Johns County Extends Burn Ban for 90 Days

St. Johns County has extended its burn ban for the next 90 days due to weather conditions including lack of substantial rainfall, high temperatures, worsening drought and significant wind. The ban also prohibits the discharge of any fireworks.

Wildfire Danger High this Memorial Day Weekend

Wildfire Danger High this Memorial Day Weekend

The Florida Division of Forestry at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, issued a warning today about the wildfire danger leading in to Memorial Day weekend.  The danger of wildfire is very high throughout Florida due to lack of rain, low humidity and windy conditions.