JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After a prescribed burn in the Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve slipped away from the hands of fire officials with the Florida Park Service, changes are being made to how prescribed burns are carried out.
According to the Florida Park Service, when the agency started the burn on Tuesday morning, weather conditions were right. But in a matter of hours, they took a turn for the worse, causing the fire to spread to 363 acres.
"We didn't have enough equipment. You can only do so much with one of our engines," said Jeff DiMaggio, Fire Management Officer with the Florida Park Service.
According to DiMaggio, the reason the burn got of out control was because sthe air suddenly got drier than expected.
"The lower that number is, the more flammable it is, so it will burn hotter, it will burn faster," said DiMaggio.
DiMaggio says when fire officials started the burn around 10 a.m. the humidity levels were at 44 percent, but by 2 p.m. the levels dropped to 32 percent.
Although no homes were lost, the close call was enough for the Florida Park Service to make some changes.
"We typically have a 12-foot wide disc line and two mowed lines. From this experience, we'll probably double the mowed widths on those," said DiMaggio.
When the wildfire is 100 percent contained, crews will work to mow up to a 24-foot edge around the entire preserve to prevent this from happening again.