Environment

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.

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.

High Tides at Huguenot Memorial Park May Impact Weekend Access

Huguenot Memorial Park visitors are advised to call the park office at (905) 251-3335 or visit www.jaxparks.com before visiting the park over the weekend to determine current tidal conditions expected during peak hours.

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.

Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

As a part of Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week, state emergency management officials are encouraging every pet owner in Florida to include their animals in their family disaster preparedness plan before the start of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season. By planning for the needs of your pets, it will greatly increase the chances of their survival during disasters.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Announces Plans to Step Down in 2012

In a video message to members and supporters on the organization’s website (www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/blog),  Neil Armingeon announced that he is stepping down in 2012 as the St. Johns Riverkeeper.

Brush Fire Burning in Mandarin

Brush Fire Burning in Mandarin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Fire and Rescue is at the scene of a brush fire at Losco and Hood Roads, and they've called in the Division of Forestry to help.

Division of Forestry spokesperson Annaleasa Winter said the fire is likely less than one-tenth of an acre, but is burning in an area made up of "partially decomposed organic material."

That means the fire, though small, will put off a lot of smoke, Winter explained.

Drivers reported seeing the smoke near the Interstate 95 and Interstate 295 South intersection, and plumes of thick black smoke are visible on the Division of Transportation's camera.

Forestry crews have put a security line around the fire so it won't spread, and Winter said they'll likely be out putting water on that fire for the next several days.