PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- “Right now on the hillside, you can see flames about a few hundred yards away,” says Jim Carly, who’s home is near Interstate 275 and Gandy Boulevard and was evacuated Friday after a brush fire cracked and popped in the distance. “They said there was a mandatory evacuation.”

Carly came back to his home with no damage, but with thousands of acres burning across the state as other homes could soon be in danger.

“If you have debris in your yard, like grass clippings, you want to make sure that's picked up and away from structure,” says Lt. Neil Kummerer with the St. Petersburg Fire Department.

Kummerer says make sure debris and even propane tanks are at least 30 feet away from your home.

Other ways to keep your property safe from a fire is to mow your lawn regularly and trim your trees at least 6-10 feet from the ground.

“You don't want to have pine needles or brush in your gutters,” says Kummerer.

The lieutenant also says have a plan with your neighbors to make sure their home is safe as well because you never know when a fire might flame up just feet from your home.