JFRD and the Florida Forest Service’s proactive approach to save families from wildfires

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Wildfires can be devastating for north Florida communities, and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department leaders say each and every year, they know there will be wildfires they’ll have to put out.


But the work that the department, alongside the Florida Forest Service, showcased during Friday’s event in the Cary State Forest, will hopefully ensure as few homes and families as possible are impacted.

“Invest a little bit now instead of having to invest a lot of resources later,” explained JFRD Chief Keith Powers.

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It’s all centered around these machines called “skid steers,” which clear out forest land up against homes, removing fuel lines to those homes in case of a wildfire. JFRD at Friday’s demonstration outlined just how important these machines are to a proactive, lifesaving approach.

“Most of the time, you see us, we’re out there reacting to an emergency medical scene, a bad accident, or a fire. But JFRD on the side that people don’t see, does a lot of prevention work,” said Powers. “There’s a lot of prevention work … to make sure people are never in danger to begin with.”

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And the Florida Forest Service also just wants to remind Jacksonville residents to be aware of fire safety measures around their homes and observe the year round burn ban in Jacksonville.

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