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National Severe Weather Week - Fires and Extreme Temperatures

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National Severe Weather Week - Fires and Extreme Temperatures


Pictured: Wildfire causes.

We end Florida's Severe Weather Awareness Week with Fires and Extreme Temperatures.

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is always influenced by tropical moisture. When hot temperatures combine with high humidity, our bodies feel like it is hotter than it really is since the increased moisture in the air limits our body's ability to cool off through sweating. This is called the Heat Index.

When the heat index reaches higher than 105 degrees F, conditions can become dangerous for both people and animals. A person can experience heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke that may result in death if exposed to these conditions for a long period of time.

When the combination of heat and humidity causes the heat index to reach dangerous levels, the National Weather service will issue Heat Advisories and Warnings

Protect yourself from the hot summer heat by:

  • Lightweight and light-colored clothes
  • Avoid doing outdoor work during the hottest part of the day
  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages
  • Apply sunscreen before exposure to the sun
  • Check on the elderly, children, and pets during periods of prolonged heat

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Florida was
109 degrees Fahrenheit on June 29, 1931, in Monticello.
In 2010, a heat index of 124 degrees was observed at the Apalachicola Airport.



The coldest temperature recorded in Florida was

-2 degrees (2 degrees below 0) Fahrenheit in Tallahassee on Feb.13, 1899.


For cold weather safety, Floridian's should remember the "5 P's" -

People: dress in layers, wear a hat and gloves. Stay out of the wind and stay dry. Check on children and the elderly.

Pets: Bring indoors or provide an insulated, closed-door shelter with extra food.

Plants: Bring indoors or cover with tarp or blanket.

Pipes: Cover exposed outdoor pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent them from freezing and breaking.
Practice Fire Safety: Use safe-heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.

Florida experiences over 4,600 fires and
nearly 110,000 acres of land burned annually. 

While there are natural ways a wildfire can be ignited, most wildfires are started by humans. The most common causes of human-started fires are arson and yard waste burns that get out of control. Fires can also be caused by discarding a cigarette that has not been fully extinguished. Other causes of wildfires include campfires and bonfires not properly extinguished or windy conditions that may take hot embers from the fire to another location.

Reduce your risk by preparing now - before wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area. Find out how you can promote and practice wildfire safety by going to and

More information on temperature hazards and wildfires and what you can do to protect yourself and others can be found at,, safety-tips,, and