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Cameras capture lightning setting tree on fire


By Zach Barrett

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    GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Florida (WBBH) — Home security cameras captured the moment a tree burst into flames from a lightning strike near a home in Golden Gate Estates this week.

The video was taken around 2:45 PM on Tuesday afternoon during a heavy storm. Luckily, rain extinguished the flames before they could spread to the nearby home or car.

Fernando Torres works construction in Golden Gate Estates. He said their work has been hindered the past week due to persistent lightning strikes.

“There’s canals out here and there’s a lot of water out here. They hit where the trees are and we’re ducked off in areas of trees so that forces us to stop,” said Torres.

He said he’s had some close calls while out on the job.

“It was like the lightning hit right there, right next to me,” said Torres. “I’ve seen poles get hit by lightning and explode. It’s just really bad out here.”

Melinda Avni with the Florida Forest Service says to take the lightning seriously because it could be deadly.

“Don’t shoot for that last round or last hole on the golf course. Don’t shoot for that last go for it while fishing,” said Avni. “We’d rather have you than hear the news story about how you stayed out a little too long.”

Avni said just because the rain stops on a given day, doesn’t mean you’re clear of the lightning threat. To clear your home of any threats, Avni said to clear any bush or vegetation away from trees in your yard.

“Try not to have heavier vegetation or brush coming up the side of your home,” said Avni.

Avni says trees, antennas and even umbrellas can serve as lightning magnets.

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