Agriculture Press Release
April 23, 1999
Crawford Cautions Public to Keep Safety in Mind During Drought
TALLAHASSEE With a warm and sunny weekend full of outdoor activities under way, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford is urging residents and visitors to put wildland fire safety at the top of their "to-do" list.
Severe drought conditions will continue throughout the weekend and Crawford wants to ensure that cookouts and other outdoor activities do not result in disaster. Hes concerned that two days of relatively light fire activity may make residents complacent.
"The only thing that is saving us from catastrophic wildfires occurring is the lack of new ignitions," Crawford said.
The Departments Division of Forestry and the National Forest Service in Florida have established a unified command for the prevention and suppression of wildfires during this period of drought.
"Its crucial that people remember the state is still extremely dry and conditions are ripe for wildfires," Crawford said.
Persons caught carelessly throwing lighted cigarettes out car windows face a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail, or both. Crawford also reminded people that open burning is not allowed during the continuing drought conditions.
Crawford said there are numerous things people can do to protect themselves and their neighbors from wildfires:
For more information on the states fire prevention and suppression efforts, visit the Division of Forestry web site at www.fl-dof.com.
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