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Treasure Coast under high wildfire risk

Treasure Coast under high wildfire risk (WPEC)

Despite having a lot of rain over the weekend, it still wasn't enough.

There was a high wildfire risk throughout the Treasure Coast Monday, especially in Martin and Indian River Counties.

That’s why some people in the community aren’t taking any more chances.

Jim Sanders, who lives in Port St. Lucie, spent time clearing brush in his backyard.

“You don’t know when it’s gonna happen," he said. "That’s why I decided it was time to come back and trim it."

Sanders lives feet away from where the Palma Wildfire destroyed over 200 acres of land.

“It went so fast," he said. "If it came this way, it would have been on top of us in minutes. We were just really fortunate it went away."

Sanders doesn’t want his house to be next so he spent weeks “cutting away all the small palm frond that are all dry and kind moving things back.”

"All those palm fronds, they’re like paper," he said. "They burn really fast.”

Sanders, a wood turner, just wanted to keep the fire as far away as possible from his home of 18 years and his wood.

“I consider myself a little bit of an artist,” he said. He has carrot wood, eucalyptus, you name it.

However, Sanders was nervous that wood would catch fire.

"The rosewood is hard to come by," he said. "Florida mahogany would be really hard to come by.”

Now that he made a larger barrier, he knows his house and his hobby are both safe.

“I’ll rake out the rest when I'm done so there won't be any in there and I'll be able to wet it down,” Sanders said. "Keep it that extra 10 to 15 away. That might make the difference.”

Firefighters recommend you do the same because a hot ember can travel about a mile away from a fire and land in a new area. They say to keep a barrier between the brush around your home and your house. They also recommend clearing out your gutters and keeping your lawn wet with sprinkles or a hose.

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