Officials predict wildfire threat for Fla. regions

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Central and South Florida again could be the scene of major wildfires later this year, according to state Division of Forestry officials in Tallahassee.

They are concerned about probable dry conditions coupled with strong winds and high temperatures during the next few months. Already in 1999 some 400 smaller wildfires were quelled across the state.

In 1998, all 67 Florida counties experienced wildfires, some well-publicized, impacting tourism in areas such as Daytona Beach and the Florida Space Coast. In fact, there were more than 2,200 wildfires in Florida during 1998.

This year, fire officials are completing research that they believe will help them predict a wildfire's path. With such information on hand, deployment of firefighters should improve.

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