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A formula for Florida wildfires

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CNN's John Zarrella reports on the wildfire conditions

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NORTH PORT, Florida (CNN) -- Already this year, nearly 900 wildfires have been reported in Florida.

A series of winter freezes that killed vegetation in much of drought-stricken Florida has only added to the dry fuel waiting for a spark to start spring and summer wildfires.

"I hate to use the term tinderbox, but literally that is what the ground is covered with right now -- it's tinder," said Timber Weller of the Florida Division of Forestry.

One bright spot: While the number of Florida wildfires is on the increase, the number of acres burned has fallen. That's because of equipment upgrades and the addition of firefighting helicopters. Also, officials are spending more time working undercover to ferret out arsonists.



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