NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. -- The rain from Tropical Storm Beryl is helping extinguish wildfires all over Northeast Florida, but it will likely be Thursday or Friday before forestry officials can call them out completely.
"We feel confident that the rains will put out the active fires in our district, but it's gonna take a couple of days for it to soak in," explained Annaleasa Winter, public information officer for Florida Division of Forestry. "They're burning six and seven inches beneath the soil's surface. Yes, we might have received six inches of rain, but it takes a while to soak in and actually extinguish the heat that's under the ground."
According to the latest information, the Caribbean Circle fire in Clay County got 5.5 inches of rain, but is still showing slight smoke. The Baldwin Bay fire in Duval County received a recorded 3.25 inches of rain and is still smoking on the fire's western side. Forestry crews will continue to monitor the conditions each day.
Winter said the tropical storm brought a dousing of water that the area has needed for years.
"The water tables were so low that our swamps were dry and every time we get a lightning fire or a piece of equipment malfunctions, you get a wildfire that burns forever and a day," said Winter. "So, this is what we needed to moisturize these swamps, get the water levels back up. You'll start to see fires that have been active for months and months finally going out."