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Florida Forest Service warns about drought index in South Florida

Posted: 4:33 PM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-05 16:44:02Z
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ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Forest Service is calling it a scary situation.

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The drought index for our five county viewing area is higher than this time last year.

RELATED: Most of South Florida in a moderate drought

A drought index is the measurement of how dry the ground is, based on recent precipitation and temperature.

Along Southeast Bella Road in Port St. Lucie, Norma Laguna remembered the 70-acre fire last March in her backyard.

"Melted the shed and burned all my trees," said Laguna.

Dozens of homes were evacuated and Norma’s home almost burned down.

"It was that close," she said.

On Friday, she learned the drought index is not looking good to start the year.

"It’s unbelievable," said Norma.

Data from the Florida Forest Service shows the drought index for all of our viewing area is much higher than this time last year. In some cases 2 to 3 times higher.

Scott Peterich said there is already a lot of dry vegetation he’s concerned about.

"if we don’t get any rain until May, June, it makes the vegetation stressed and becomes highly flammable," said Peterich.

He and Norma hope for a little more rain.