Lehigh family worried about neighbor's overgrown yard amid extreme dry season

Posted at 11:02 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 08:56:47-04

A Lehigh Acres family is concerned concerned about their safety, in light of the recent 400-acre brush fire, because of their neighbor's overgrown brush.

Their neighbor's trees are spilling over into their yard.

Angel McGinnis and her husband Tim saw the smoke rising from the massive brush fire last Friday from their home.  Their backyard is dry and they're worried the overgrown trees could help fuel a brush fire.

Tim said he's been paying $500 a year to get the trees clipped back and hauled away, but his biggest concern is with wild fires sparking.   "A cigarette butt goes over there, my house is in flames before the fire department can get here," Tim said.

Tim put up a 6-foot fence to stop the trees from overgrowing into his yard, but it didn't work.

His neighbor is also dealing with the same problem.  "Every year it just gets worse," Gloria Hernandez said.

His wife Angel said she's afraid for her family's safety. "I would like to see the county do some kind of code violation to the property owner, so they can either cut down or maintain this lot here," Angel said.

A County Spokesperson said they don't have a code requiring a property owner to trim their trees or overgrowth.

Tim has tried to contact the owner of the lot, who he said lives out of state, with no response. Four in Your Corner couldn't track down the owner either.

The County said they would send someone to check out the lot.

This case serves as a reminder -- no matter where you are in southwest Florida, you should cut back your brush, especially during these dry conditions.