Wildfires Up 300% From 2016

Wildfires in the area are up more than 300% from last year, thanks to the ongoing drought. In Manatee County alone, 22 fires have been reported this calendar year. During the same time last year, there were only 7. Overall in the Myakka River District- which includes Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, DeSoto and Hardee counties — more than 3,400 acres have burned already. That count came before the Raintree fire in North Port over the weekend which burned nearly 4,000 additional acres. Fire officials are already comparing 2017 to 2012, the last time the fire danger was this high, and the rain gauges were this empty.

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