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Agriculture Press Release

April 21, 1999

Crawford Bans Outdoor Burning

TALLAHASSEE -- Faced with a growing threat of wildfire and a continuing severe drought, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford has discontinued all open burning statewide effective immediately.

"Were taking this action to further safeguard our citizens and their property," Crawford said. "I know that this closure places a burden on many people, but it is the right thing to do at this critical juncture."

The ban affects all agricultural, silviculture, and rural land-clearing operations, including yard trash. Crawford also directed state forestry officials to include recreational campfires on state forests in this ban. The closure will remain in effect until further notice.

Persons violating the ban face a second degree misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail, or both.

Crawford has stepped up action to prevent wildfires by forming a special arson task force and increasing the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a wildfire arsonist by up to $5,000. To report information on wildfire arson, call the arson hotline at 1-800-342-5869.

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For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022


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