Natural disasters in Florida are commonly associated with water (hurricanes, tropical storms and floods). Many people, including residents living in at-risk areas, don’t realize the Sunshine State is also at risk for wildfires.
Wildfires are most prevalent in states like California, Oregon and Montana. Although the western region of the United States is notorious for uncontrolled fires, other parts of the country, including Florida are not immune to these disasters. In 2021, Florida was among the top 20 states for the number of acres burned by wildfires, with over 105 acres ravished by a sea of flames.
If you’re a resident of the Sunshine State, you may be living in an area prone to wildfires. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to both prepare your home for a wildfire and prevent one from starting.
A wildfire, also known as a forest fire, is an uncontrolled and destructive fire that burns quickly over a wilderness area. Wildfires are usually difficult to extinguish, can burn down homes and business and threaten the lives of humans and animals.
In Florida, wildfire season begins approximately in mid-March and lasts until early June. However, this timeframe is being stretched as it’s becoming increasingly common for wildfires to wreak havoc on the state throughout most of the summer.
Wildfires can be caused by humans or the weather. Many wildfires are sparked by human negligence, including:
Another common cause of wildfires is mother nature. Lighting strikes, which are extremely abundant in Florida, can easily cause a wildfire when the weather is hot and dry.
While lighting may easily spark a fire, high winds and a lack of precipitation can keep it spreading and burning for days or even weeks on end. Luckily, Florida’s particularly humid climate and frequent rain in the summer helps mitigate the spread of wildfires, making them a lot less widespread than in hot and dry places out west like California, Colorado and Arizona.
Not all of Florida is at an elevated risk of wildfires. However, higher temperatures and drought conditions may make them more common in some parts of Florida. These areas include:
If you live in an area in Florida that is at risk for wildfires, there are several things you can do to prepare for one. Keep in mind, wildfires tend to spread rapidly, so the more prepared you are, the easier it may be to evacuate and salvage your property after the fire has passed.
How to Prevent Wildfires
If you notice a fire that’s spreading out of control, report it to your local fire department by calling 911.
There are several proactive measures you can take to prevent a wildfire from happening in the first place. These precautionary measures include:
What Should You Do in the Event of Wildfire Damage to Your Florida Property?
An untamed wildfire can result in extensive damages to your property. While your first move to mitigate your losses should be to file a fire damage claim with your insurance company, you may quickly learn the insurance adjuster isn’t your friend. They may try to come up with several excuses to undervalue or deny your claim.
To ensure you’re fully compensated for your wildfire damage losses, consider working with an experienced property damage lawyer who can relentlessly pursue the payout you need recover.