The dry season is upon us, which means wildfire season is in full swing. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, wildfire season is year round .
To help keep the wildfires under control the Florida Forest Service and Florida Protection Bureau work together to set prescribed burns.
Unfortunately, this year’s prescribed burns are effecting more businesses throughout Southwest Florida.
“What happened this year is that they did a controlled burn during windy season. The winds can change on a dime,” Mike Randals said, who owns a boat rental business at the Park Shore Marina located in Naples.
At times, the combination of high winds and prescribed fires causes flames to spread. To help keep people and businesses safe during a controlled burn sometimes the Florida Forest Service and Florida Protection Bureau have to close roads.
“This is our highest season and we should have been busy today but all the roads are closed,” Kurt Stevens, owner of Gators’ Cross Roads Bar & Grill, explained.
“We’re getting calls from people who want to come here, but there’s nothing we can tell them because we’re not getting any information of what’s going on,” he said.
Michael Weston, center manager for Florida Forest Service, said the best way business owners can keep up with road closures, due to prescribed or controlled burns, is through social media.
“We rely heavily on social media and the news, and we try to communicate what we know to business owners,” said Michael.
“They can also follow us follow us on twitter, and keep up to date with local first responders and their social media. We share that information around and get that passed on more quickly.
SWFL First Responders Twitter Handles
The following is a list of just some of the twitter handles business owners can follow to keep up with road closures during wildfire season.
@FFS_cafc – The Caloosahatchee Forestry Center
@FreshFromFL – Florida Department of Agriculture
@FLForestService – FL Forest Service
@GN_Fire – Greater Naples Fire
@NaplesFire2174 – Naples Firefighters
@leesheriff – Lee County Sheriff
@CollierSheriff – CollierCountySheriff