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Hazardous wildfire conditions on Sanibel

By Staff | Mar 5, 2009

A State Division of Forestry Red Flag Warning has been issued for this area of the state due to prolonged dry conditions, low moisture in vegetation, high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds. This is the highest level of wildfire warning issued by the State of Florida.

Areas in nearby counties and in other parts of the state are now being impacted by active wildfires with very little chance of rain in the weather forecast.

Residents and visitors alike are urged to be extra careful with ignition sources such as cigarette and cigar butts, matches, candles, charcoal from barbecue grills, parking vehicles in tall dry grass, etc.

Everyone is reminded that open fires such as campfires, the burning of debris and lighting of fireworks by the general public continues to be prohibited on Sanibel.

As a homeowner or business owner, there are many things that you can be done to reduce the wildfire risk around your home or business. Suggestions include:

trimming dead palm fronds from trees near structures

trimming or mowing tall grasses near buildings

pruning large, leafy hardwood trees overhanging roof lines or porches

eliminating combustible materials such as gasoline containers, firewood, and building supplies from being stored under or around the home or business

cleaning up the dead debris from hurricanes and keeping mulch and other landscaping material moist. Pine straw and any other particularly flammable material is not recommended for use as mulch.

During the 2009 spring season, as weather conditions allow, the “Sanibel Island Firewise Task Force” including the City of Sanibel, the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will be conducting prescribed fires in multiple locations on the island to help preserve the natural ecology of the area and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires.

A successful prescribed burn was recently conducted on conservation lands at Sanibel Gardens Preserve and the Refuge’s Bailey Tract adjacent to the intersection of Island Inn Road and Tarpon Bay Road.

Source: City of Sanibel