Florida’s Environment – Florida’s Dry Season is here

 

Florida Fire Service Helicopter

Florida Fire Service Helicopter

Florida Fire Service Helicopter

Florida Fire Service Helicopter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida’s rainy season which runs from June 1st to November is officially over. Lee and Collier counties received 39 inches of rain during this period which is 4 inches below normal.  The dry season brings increased chances of drought and the chance of wild fires. The Ft. Myers News Press printed an article “Fire Season is on the horizon” on Nov. 17th which describes the seasonal fluctuations of rain, chances of wildfires and how county and state managers respond to them. I was surprise to learn that our state ranks second in the number of wildfires nationally. The Florida Forest Service closely monitors the dry conditions throughout the state and sometimes performs controlled burns in which they start fires in dry and parched areas to clear the dry vegetation to prevent wildfires. Doing controlled burns also helps to promote the growth of new seedlings and growth of plants and trees in an ecosystem. The News Press article states that at one time Florida was an immense forest with wildfires happening all over the state. This is true also of the rest of the U.S., especially western states where we see fires raging in California, Arizona, Washington and other regions. Preserving wetlands allows the land to hold more water and keep the soil more saturated with moisture which would help to lessen the number of some of our very dry areas. Directing storm runoff to wetlands areas instead of flushing the water into rivers and bays would also help to keep our beaches cleaner. The photo in this post is of a Florida Forest Service helicopter which is stationed at Page Field airport in Ft. Myers. I was lucky enough to speak with one of their pilots who flies this heli to places where there are brush fires starting or spreading out of control. They help to guide crews on the ground to stop or control brush fires with their tractors and fire equipment. The helicopters also carry fire suppressant powder to control fires. click on pictures for larger images and wait for them to resize

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.