News Update for 5/25/18

School’s out for the summer here in Highlands County. Yesterday was the final day of the academic year, with students getting an early release day locally.
Motorists are advised to look for additional activity on the streets including youngsters walking and riding bicycles.

Rain is forecast across Florida this weekend and officials from the Florida Forest Service hope that will give them some respite from the wildfire season.
There still is one active wildfire in The Sunshine State and it is located here in Highlands County. State Wildland Firefighters continue to patrol, monitor, and mop-up at the 460-acre Jack’s Creek Wildfire.
Consistent moisture is penetrating deep into the muck soils, significantly reducing the smoke to the surrounding area.
That fire was originally ignited by a lightning strike back on April 13.
Meanwhile, the Mini Ranch Wildfire out by the Sebring International Raceway now officially has been declared “out.”
Steady rainfall seeped deep into the soil extinguishing the smoldering muck there.

Government forecasters are expecting an active Atlantic hurricane season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast released Thursday calls for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes. One to four hurricanes could be “major” with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
NOAA predicted that 2017 would be an above-average season, and it certainly was: A trio of devastating hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria – ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands. Overall, last year saw 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.
The six-month Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1.