Environment

Hunter safety Internet-completion course offered in Clay County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free hunter safety Internet-completion course in Clay County.  

The class is Sept. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. until completed.  Students who have taken the online course and wish to complete this classroom portion must bring the online-completion report with them. Students must attend both days to get credit for the course.

Wildfire Burns 60 Acres In Jennings State Forest

Wildfire Burns 60 Acres In Jennings State Forest

MIDDLEBURG,Fla. -- For most of the day a thin veil of smoke covered I-295 south and parts of Clay County. The smoke was generated by a 60 acre wildfire burning in Jennings State Forest.

"A lot of wind behind it being produced by the thunderstorm that probably produced the same lightning strike," said Barry Coulliette.

Coulliette is operations administrator with the Division of Forestry. He said the fire was started by a lightning strike. 

"I got the call about 3:26 this afternoon," he said.

Coulliette said he launched four units to tackled the fire in Jennings state forest.

"We're at least a mile from the closest resident so I'm pretty confident everyone's going to be okay," he added.

Mosquitoes: More this Year than Last Year?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Peggy Munsey and her dog Gunner head out for their morning run each day, and every time, there's a pesky disruption.

"Yeah, they're very bad in this area," said Munsey.

The mosquitoes around her Clifton Road neighborhood in Jacksonville are unbearable and her neighbors agree it's the worst they've seen.

Jacksonville's Mosquito Control is tracking increasing calls for service on maps. In May, there were about 300 calls for service.  In June, that number doubled, and already in July, calls for service have exceeded 600.

"It's very irritating.  I was just talking to a neighbor yesterday and said, can you call the mosquito people because I've already called them twice," said Munsey.

Richard Smith, mosquito control superintendent, said he thinks the number of service requests will top 5,000. "That's a lot of service requests," he said.

Clay County Fireworks & Burn Ban Reminders

General Information for the Public on Fireworks:

·     Countywide Burn Ban is in effect. It was issued on June 3, 2011 and currently extends through July 8, 2011.

·     The ban prohibits all outdoor burning including yard waste, bon fires and campfires, on private or county property.

·     It also unlawful to use, discharge, dispense, or display ANY fireworks as defined by Florida Statue 791.

·     Sales of Sparklers, as defined by Florida Statue 791, are permitted, but use is NOT.

·     Five public displays of fireworks are permitted by Administrative Order in accordance with the Burn Ban Ordinance.

They are as follows:

Clay County is Serious About Burn Ban Enforcement

The Clay County Sheriff's Office has been in constant communication with Clay County fire and administrative officials regarding the July 4th holiday and the impact of a potential burn ban.  The threat of wild fires caused by any type of fireworks or outdoor burning is at an all-time high, according to forest service officials and violations of a burn ban, if extended through the holiday, will be taken very seriously.  Notice of a burn ban extension will come to you via Clay County Fire Rescue.

Jacksonville's Water Hogs Let Millions of Gallons Go Down the Drain

Jacksonville's Water Hogs Let Millions of Gallons Go Down the Drain

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The average family uses about 6,000 gallons of water a month.  Each person in the house uses 90 gallons a day, and if you think that's a lot, wait until you see how much the water hogs in the city consume.

"Certainly we do have a set of residential customers that use more than the typical customer here," said JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce.

Well, what's typical for families in Jacksonville?

Most households are using about 72,000 gallons of water a year.

The top water hog on our list uses 1,489,949 gallons a year. That's 124,000 gallons a month.

"This takes on a life of its own when you're looking at these type of numbers," she said.

Many of the highest water consumers in Jacksonville live in large homes and gated communities, and none of them agreed to talk on camera about their water usage.