Agriculture Press Release

April 30, 1999

Recent Rain Allows for Partial Easing of Burn Ban

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Bob Crawford is lifting some, but not all, of the restrictions on outdoor burning in the state. The easing of the restrictions has been made possible by recent rain, which has done much to improve the wildfire situation statewide.

The Departments Division of Forestry has reviewed conditions across the state and determined that because of the rain and the changes in fuel moisture and drought indexes, there was enough of an improvement to justify some relaxation. The following policy on outdoor burning will remain in effect until further notice:

Broadcast burning for agricultural, silvicultural or any other purpose will not be authorized. (Broadcast refers to burning fields or other burning that spreads across the land surface.)

Burning yard trash is still prohibited.

Campfires are still prohibited.

Charcoal recreation fires will be allowed in an established fire ring in a campground provided it is fully extinguished in place when no longer used.

The burning of piles of land-clearing material, including the use of air curtain incinerators, will be allowed only with the approval of the local Forestry Area Supervisor, who may require an on-site inspection.

Local district managers can enforce more stringent conditions based on local conditions, but cannot liberalize the conditions previously outlined.

Crawford cautioned against adopting a false sense of security because of recent rains.

"Although the rain has brought some relief to many areas, it has been spotty and varied in intensity," Crawford said. "We must remain cautious and vigilant until substantial rain is received on a sustained basis."

Because of the drought conditions, without additional rain the present moisture levels cannot be expected to last. The Departments Division of Forestry will continue to monitor the situation based on available resources, incidents of escaped fires and weather conditions, and will re-evaluate outdoor burning and adjust policies as needed.


For more information:

Liz Compton
(850) 591-1262

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