More good news was announced by fire officials at this morning’s briefing. Other than a 10-by-10 foot flare-up yesterday, which was quickly put out, Fire Chief Don Petito reported that the “lull” continues.
According to Todd Schroeder, public information officer for the Division of Forestry, crews extinguished two more active fires yesterday, lowering the county’s total to eight.
Acreage also remained the same on the Espanola fire — which is, as of yesterday, the only fire in Flagler not 100% contained.
Containment did increase, however, to 60%, from an estimate of about 40% late last week.
“We’re starting to experience better conditions,” Schroeder said, referring mainly to the upcoming forecasted rains.
Bob Pickering, emergency management technician, said that widespread showers are still expected this afternoon. The chance of rain today and tomorrow is 60%, he said, with the weather pattern set to continue further than expected, through the middle of next week.
But the storms could produce cloud-to-ground lightning, he cautioned.
“How much rain and how much lightning we get (this weekend) will determine how busy we’ll be,” said Petito.
Of the Espanola fire, Schroeder said an aggressive mop-up campaign is underway.
“It’s all about water today, and hopefully it becomes a super water show, with the (coming storms),” he said. “Conditions are good. Rain appears like it’s coming … Lines are holding … I think it’s a very positive portrait that’s been painted at the moment.”
“Almost there,” Petito said.
A Flagler task force is still assisting in Volusia, and two bulldozers have been released to the southwest water management district.