INDIAN LAKE ESTATES, Fla. (FOX 13) - Indian Lake Estates is miles of watered lawns, free of leaves, spic and span gutters. And that’s just the way the Florida Forest Service likes it.
Today, the service’s Todd Chlanda recognized Indian Lakes for being a fire-wise community.
“There’s a variety of things that communities can do, that homeowners can do, to save their home,” Chlanda said.
Saving their homes became a reality just two years ago, when a blaze charred 700 acres of the massive property in April of 2017.
“This community was threatened by two major wildfires and the work that the community had done before the fire was on the ground saved homes in the community,” Chlanda said.
He credits the residents for their preparedness. Residents like Paul Motsko.
“We trimmed back the brush, I’ve covered all of the wood on my house on soffit on the overhang with aluminum, so I have no exposed wood to the fire,” Motsko said. “And we try to keep things cleaned up over the house. Things that would normally catch on fire.”
The southeast area of Polk County is very prone to wildfires.
“It tends to remain drier in this area, a lot of rain tends to go around this area,” Chlanda said. “And when the storms come through, there’s a lot of dry lightning. So there’s a lot of lightning strikes. The people of Indian Lakes are not immune to fires, but they’re still active to keeping their property safe.”