Wow, It’s been a hot summer with our usual violent afternoon thunderstorms. Lightning has started several wildfires in our area this season. Thankfully, as of mid-July our KBDI is hovering around 400.
There is an incredible YouTube video posted on the Wedgefield Firewise Facebook page displaying how strikes cause wildfires. Visit our page or go to: YouTube and search for “lightning in super duper slow motion”.
Afternoon storms have proven deadly this year. We should all be conscious of Lightning Safety and insure children adhere to Lightning Safety. Visit http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot topics and http://www.floridadisaster.org/kids/lightning.html for tips to keep your family safe.
If a bolt strikes in close proximity to your home; smell and look for signs of fire. If you suspect lightning has struck your home, call 911 immediately. On rare occasions, lightning can start attic fires requiring rapid response.
Wedgefield feels like the lightning capital of the world. Our pets think so.
Actually, Lake Catatumbo in Venezuela is number one, averaging 160 Thunderstorms per year. We are number three in the world averaging 90 thunderstorms per year. We experience 200,000 more strikes by density than any other state. Incredibly, a bolt averages only one inch in diameter but can travel 2-10 miles. Strong lightning bolts are heated over 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit causing the familiar shock wave BOOM as they heat the atmosphere on the way down. NOA estimates that the average Floridian has a one in three thousand chance of being struck by lightning. Stay safe this season by monitoring radar and listening to your weather radio.
Our Next Meeting is August 11th at 1:30pm at the Ranger Drainage office on Bancroft
The dynamics of Wedgefield Firewise is changing. Many of our original (2001) members are retiring or promoting. This month; John Mulhall with Orange County Fire Rescue and Pete Henn with SJWMD are promoting into new positions. In addition, Dennis Mudge with the University of Florida Extension Service is promoting and leaving us to serve as the County Extension Director for Volusia County. Many of you know Dennis as the “Snake Guy.” Dennis has served as the County Extension Agent for Orange and Seminole Counties, specializing in Natural Resources/Livestock for 19 years. We will really miss Dennis’ enthusiasm and support.
Our Agency Partners will replace these positions with new Wedgefield Firewise contributors. We welcome new board members and volunteers. If you want to give back to your community and spread the Firewise message WE ARE LOOKING FOR YOU.
Please consider volunteering at an event or participating in a project. Visit our Wedgefield Firewise Facebook page if interested, or if you have any questions or suggestions.