The phone in Cedar Key Fire Chief Robert Robinson`s office has been ringing off the hook since Sunday, the majority of calls from residents concerned about a fire burning on a small uninhabited island located Northeast of the George T. Lewis Airport. The fire was started by a lightning strike during a weekend storm, Robinson said.
Chief Robinson assures residents the fire is being watched, but there is little that can be done (or should be done) at present, except to monitor it. State forestry officials and county officials are aware of the fire.
Robinson told Cedar Key News today he and one of his department members had gone to the island by boat and were not able to get close enough to the location of the smoldering fire with the department`s nimble fire boat. The area has extremely thick marsh grass, plus overgrown brush and grass at the ground level. Robinson said it would be dangerous to put his men into those conditions to attempt to control the fire, especially with the changing wind, even if they could get close enough.
Fires such as this are natural events in forested land. When the ample fuel provided by the underbrush and grasses is allowed to burn, the fire becomes a cleansing force, allowing trees to flourish and new seedlings to emerge. Robinson assured Cedar Key residents the situation is not creating any danger and is being monitored closely.