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Florida facing busiest wildfire season in recent history

By Sascha Cordner

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-974476.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Since May 1st, Florida firefighters face an average of more than 31 new wildfires each day. As Sascha Cordner reports, Florida Division of Forestry officials are calling it one of the busiest wildfire years in recent history.

So far, the Florida Division of Forestry has battled more than 15-hundred wildfires that have burned about 200-thousand acres across the state. Division Director Jim Karels says he expects the weather to trigger more blazes.

"And, we continue to fight fires throughout the state, and, as the conditions continue to escalate, there's some areas of the state that are getting better, and areas of the state that are getting drier, and conditions are getting worse."

Karels says the rain will help firefighters to combat the wildfires, even if it means more lightning in the area. A lightning storm caused the Blue Ribbon fire in Hamilton County, which led to the deaths of two firefighters and the smoke-related injuries of two others.