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Florida drought increases fire risk

The significant drought that has lasted into spring throughout Hillsborough County has greatly increased the risk of wildfires. At one point in April, Florida had over 100 wildfires active at one time. While so far wildfires have been contained, homeowners throughout Florida have reason to be concerned.

The Tampa Bay Times recently quoted state climatologist David Zierden as saying the dry spell has so far exceeded averages for the state. Already in 2017, wildfires have spread over 126,000 acres throughout Florida. This is more than usually occurs for an entire year. On April 9, the Hernando Beach brush fire grew to 650 acres. On April 17, wildfires closed three highways in Central Florida.

Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties are all experiencing at least a moderate drought.

Wildfires remain a problem

On April 17, the Florida Fire Service tweeted out a map of ongoing wildfires in the Tampa Bay area. The map showed 11 active fires. All district campgrounds were subsequently closed.

Fortunately, the damage has so far been limited. However, fire risk remains a real threat in the area for both businesses and homes. Whether because of an accident, faulty equipment or wildfire, this spring is a particularly high-risk time for fire to do significant damage to homes and businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area. While firefighters are doing their best to limit the range of wildfires, the drought has strained resources.

Fire damage claims

It can be difficult for property owners to recover fair compensation when filing a fire insurance claim. Fire can cause structural damage that results in the complete destruction of a building. Even if not directly hit by fire, smoke can also cause significant damage and require extensive repairs.

It is often a battle with the insurance company to get the compensation needed to make repairs and recover losses.

If you have questions about making an insurance claim for fire damage, or have experienced a denial of your claim, contact an attorney familiar with property damage insurance claims and appeals to discuss your options and rights.

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