Burn ban in effect
By Ron Mills
After reviewing Gilchrist County’s current wildland fire conditions and the area weather forecast, a mandatory countywide burn ban has been implemented, effective on June 6, 2011. The ban will remain in effect until June 13, 2011.
The mandatory burn ban affects all of Gilchrist County, including rural and municipal areas.
The countywide mandatory burn ban prohibits all of the following:
• All outdoor burning that has not been specifically authorized by the Florida Division of Forestry.
• The use of any fireworks, sparklers, flares, or other pyrotechnic devices except as provided by law for public displays requiring a permit.
Please note that the ban does not affect agricultural burning authorized by the Florida Division of Forestry for land clearing or prescribed burning purposes.
Although the use of LPG/LNG grills and charcoal grills is permitted, the public is encouraged to keep a constant watch for any stray sparks or embers while cooking outdoors. Additionally, due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment such as ATVs and dirt bikes is discouraged during times of high wildfire risk. Please bear in mind that lawnmowers, both push and riding, also pose accidental ignition risks. Citizens are asked to exercise caution during the burn ban. Working together, Gilchrist County’s citizens and local fire suppression agencies may avoid a repeat of the 1998 wildfires which scorched 7,100 acres locally.
Any burning within the County during the imposed ban will be in violation of sections 10.08 and 10.09 and section 252.50 of Florida Statutes. It will be considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a 60-day imprisonment and up to a $500.00 fine. All County and municipal law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce the ordinance.
For more information, please contact the Gilchrist County Department of Public Safety at (386) 935-5400.