Posted: 3:54 am Monday, April 17th, 2017

New Wildfire Erupts 

By Ann Kelly

Wildfire map from Florida Fire Services – Facebook

Fire crews are battling yet another wildfire in the Withlacoochee State Forest. The 400 acre blaze is about 23 miles away from Brooksville near State Road 471 and Center Road and is being fought with bulldozers and choppers. The Florida Fire Service ask us all to stay away from the area.

Governor Scott declared a state of emergency last week and put the Florida National Guard on standby to use UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to help fight the growing number of wildfires across the state. Burn bans will continue for Pasco, Hernando, Polk and Citrus Counties, And with more than 100 wildfires burning across the state. Those wildfires have closed all Southwest Florida Water Management District campgrounds and you can see that full list here.

Duke Energy customers are about to pay around $6 more per month. But that rate hike must be approved by the Florida Public Utilities Commission first. If it is approved that increase would be seen by the July billing cycle.

What we here in Tampa Bay won’t see anytime soon is action on the Tampa Bay Express Plan. It’s been shelved for about two years while the Florida Department of Transportation they’ll re-evaluate those proposed express lanes and look at other options.