Threat of high winds and lightning this week has Division of Forestry on stand by

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -  Walk into some areas of brush and you can look and feel the toll the dry season is taking on plants and grass.

And now with the threat of high winds and lightning, Scott Peterich says the Division of Forestry is preparing for a battle with wildfires.

"We've been sending rangers out on patrols to take a look at some areas and see how dry they are," says Peterich.
    
Monday he showed an area just off Southern Boulevard that is a prime example of what could fuel a fire.
    
The thick dry brush hasn't received enough rain in months, making it a fire's breeding ground.

"All of our rain that we are getting is very spotty and not much of it. The plants are becoming stressed, because of the drought condition they're not taking up the moisture," he says.

According to Peterich people might assume when they see green that things are okay but that is not the case; he says even the leaves on a palm can fuel a fire because they release a significant amount of oil.

"Our fuel as you can see is very flammable the pine and palmetto are extremely flammable."
    
Peterich says now is the time to create at least 30 feet of defensible space around your home and get rid of any flammable brush.

Peterich says the risk for brush fires is higher now than it was at this time last year.

He says we have been in a rain deficit for nearly two years.

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