Wildfires often begin unnoticed as brush fires. They spread quickly igniting brush, trees, and homes. Every year, thousands of acres of wild land and many homes are destroyed by fires that can erupt at any time of the year from a variety of causes, including arson, lightning and debris burning.
Adding to the fire hazard is the growing number of people living in new communities built in areas that were once wild land. Pasco County has approximately one-third of its acreage as undeveloped, forested or pastureland. As more development occurs adjacent to these areas, the County becomes susceptible to wildfire at the wildland / urban interface area.
The predominance of forested acreage, current patterns of development, and historical weather conditions indicate that the probability of occurrence is high. The threat of fires cannot be eliminated, but public education and the use of prescribed burns can be used to better manage this hazard.
The probability exists for at least five wild land fires in Pasco County per year.