Marion County residents learn about wildfire at community meeting
FORT MCCOY, Fla. (WCJB) - Residents in Marion County learned more about the wildfire burning miles away from their homes.
Officials with the U.S. Forest Service, the Florida Forest Service, the Southern Area Incident Management Team, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office held a community engagement meeting at the Salt Springs Community Center Sunday afternoon.
They informed residents on how to learn about the fire’s current conditions and how crews are extinguishing the flames. Homeowners were also taught ways to reduce the risk of fire on their property.
“The Florida Forest Service offers home-risk assessments so that we can come out and take a look at your property and give you some suggestions and ideas on how to reduce that risk,” said the agency’s public information officer, Ludie Bond.
Officials are thankful to serve a community that cares.
“If we didn’t have Floridian support of the amount of prescribed fire we have, this would be a whole different story,” said Carrie Sekarek, District Ranger for the Ocala National Forest.
The wildfire is affecting many residents who live near the fire, such as roadblocks on State Road 19.
“I can’t go from my house down 19 to route 40. That’s where my relatives would come to visit me on that road,” said resident Cora Grolz. “We’re kind of anxious to get that open. Otherwise, they’ll have to make a huge detour.”
The wildfire has been burning in the Ocala National Forest since April 27 and has burnt over 4,100 acres so far.
Crews work everyday to extinguish the flames, but they are limited based on fire activity and weather.
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