Sparks from fireworks have caused more than 30 small brush fires over the past two months near Hollywood Studios, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Some of the fires, which have all been extinguished by Reedy Creek Fire Services, were ignited during an Orange County burn ban. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs declared a state of emergency April 1 forbidding all outdoor burning, without a permit due to Central Florida’s extreme drought conditions.
Tim Stromsnes, president of the Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue IAFF Local 2117, told the Orlando Sentinel that his staff has been overburdened with several brushfires at once and blamed the problem on Disney not clearing enough land around a new staging area in the woods across from Hollywood Studios, which shoots off the nightly “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” show.
Disney suspended its fireworks shows in 1998 when wildfires spread through Central Florida.
Orange County’s dry, breezy weather create the perfect mix that a allow wildfires to start fast and spread quickly. Dry vegetation and ground cover ignite and grow rapidly. Shifting wind conditions can cause wildfires to change paths without notice.