Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fire Being Fought In Glades County

The Florida Division of Forestry currently fighting a wildfire on Lykes Property, northeast of Palmdale, in Glades County off US 27 near the Highlands and Glades county border.

The division says the fire is covering pasture land, heavy palmetto, planted pine & pine over story. Smoke column should be visible for miles for this fire. 

Crews are having a difficult time containing this fire due to the heavy vegetation. Crews are trying to safely get their dozers behind and to the sides of the fire. 

Monday afternoon there were four bulldozers working the left flank coming up the rear and four working the left flank coming around the head. Lykes has tractors disking some of their roads and putting lines in ahead of ours just in case the DOF don't catch it. 

A helicopter was in service and another fire has spotted over to another property (Smoak's Property). Typically at night the humidity goes up and fire activity will go down said the DOF.  90% contained at an estimated 800 acres. 

There were 3 hunting camps that were saved plus 3 recreational vehicles. Forestry State Wildland Firefighters established dozerlines around structures and vehicles to save them. The 8 dozer firefighters worked in tandem to remove the vegetation and create a fireline all around the fire.

Forestry's Helicopter dropped 101 water drops on the fire at 360 gallons per load. The helicopter was used for the long range spotting and structure protection. He is also used for allowing ground units to get closer to the fire safely to establish firelines with the dozers.

The DOF says it will know Tuesday around 2pm if the line holds. 2pm is the time of day where the vegetation is the driest, relative humidity is at its lowest and afternoon winds shift.

Dozers will be pushing down snags (trees on fire) and ensuring dozer firelines are wide enough to contain fire. Brush units will using water to wet down hot spots smoldering inside the containment lines. 

2 structures are in the area and not threatened at this time. They are still a distance away. 

Firefighting tactics

(1)   Establish safety zones for firefighters

(2)   Helicopter on scene for structure protection and long range spotting.

(3)   Forestry's fixed wing pilot circling in the air guiding crews safely to fire.

(4)   It is too dangerous to build a firebreak directly in front of the fire; rather lines must but built obliquely along the sides or backfires set from an existing line (such as a road) to burn out fuels in the fire's path.

(5)   State  Wildland Firefighters from FL Division of Forestry

a.       1 Helicopter & fuel truck

b.      8 dozers

c.       1 engine

d.      1 2 overhead- Supervisors

e.      Fixed Wing Aircraft "eyes in the sky"

f.        Additional crews en route

g.       mechanic

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