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Need for rain grows as fire risk increases on Treasure Coast

Threat of thunderstorms increases fire risk
Posted at 4:22 PM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 18:13:46-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A lack of rain along with windy conditions are raising the fire risks in our area, especially on the Treasure Coast.

The threat of storms Monday night may bring some rain but could elevate the fire risk.

Much of southeast Florida hasn't had rain for weeks, but even a little rain may not be enough to scale back the wildfire threat right now.

The fire risk is currently moderate across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, and the Florida Forest Service said a few inches of rain is not going to change the situation.

RELATED: Lawns turning brown as lack of rain continues in Palm Beach County

Miguel Nevarez explains the dangers that thunderstorms pose during dry conditions.
Miguel Nevarez explains the dangers that thunderstorms pose during dry conditions.

In fact, if the area doesn't get substantial rain soon, the risk of wildfires could become high. And with thunderstorms comes the possibility of lightning, posing another concern.

"If we get the thunderstorms that are being predicted without the rain, we call those dry lightning storms," Miguel Nevarez, a Florida Forest Service wildfire mitigation specialist, said. "So, what happens is no rain, but we get the lightning. Now, we have a much higher elevated risk of the vegetation catching on fire because there's no moisture to go along with those lightning strikes."

Currently, there are parts of Palm Beach County that are at a much higher drought index than the Treasure Coast.

If the lack of rain persists, the concerns grow, given we've had many days of record-breaking heat and no rain.