TALAHASSEE (FOX 13/AP) - Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency because of the number of wildfires burning around Florida. Scott issued the order Tuesday morning.
Officials say wildfires in Florida have already burned 250 percent more terrain in the first three months of 2017 than during the same period last year. There are more than 100 active wildfires across more than 20,000 acres in Florida.
"As wildfires impact our state, our incredible firefighters and first responders have bravely rushed to aid our communities and worked tirelessly to protect our homes and families,” said Governor Scott.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the state hasn't seen this active of a wildfire season since 2011.
“We're seeing that every area of our state is susceptible to wildfire,” explained Putnam. “I thank Governor Scott for signing this executive order, which will ensure we have every resource available to us to combat these wildfires to protect life, property and wildlife."
Declaring a state of emergency allows Scott to deploy and use any firefighting forces or resources needed and to help distribute supplies and materials.
"Much of central and south Florida are approaching drought-like conditions and the chances for wildfires are continuing to increase with hotter temperatures and low rainfall. This may only get worse as we enter the hotter summer months and it is crucial that we take every action right now to be prepared,” Governor Scott said. “It is incredibly important that wildfire response is swift and deliberate and this state of emergency will make it easier for our state, regional and local agencies to quickly work together to protect our families, visitors and communities."
The Associated Press Contributed to this report.