Wildfires burn over 126,000 acres across Florida this year

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MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) – Officials say at least 126,000 acres have burned in wildfires across Florida since January, surpassing the five-year average of acreage burned in a typical year.

Florida’s fire season peaks this month, and experts warn that the fire risk may worsen in the coming weeks.

Forecasters predict Florida’s weather will be hotter and dryer than normal in the coming months, with dry conditions extending into June. When the rainy does finally begin, it will bring storms with lightning, another leading cause of brush fires.

The increased fire activity has stressed local fire departments with brush fires on top of their regular workload of house fires, vehicle crashes and medical calls.

Smoke from some fires has forced Florida Highway Patrol troopers to close major highways for hours at a time.STORIES THAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON

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