Extreme dryness continues to be a critical problem in our area of North Florida. Daily the drought index is increasing under the influence of high temperatures and the absence of significant rainfall. These factors all combine to make our area ripe for wildfire. Currently, South Georgia is experiencing a dramatic increase in wildfire activity under these very same conditions.
The Florida Division of Forestry encourages the public to exercise extreme caution in the use of fire outdoors during this time. Outdoor cookouts require someone to be tending the grill at all times until the coals are dead-out. Coals must be disposed of in a concealed container and not on the ground. ATV’s, trucks and cars should not be parked in tall grasses where heat transferred from the exhaust pipe or catalytic converter can cause a fire. All campfires should be extinguished using the water and stir method until the campfire is dead-out.
Acreage and pile burning is risky under present conditions. Postponement for a time when weather conditions are more favorable is encouraged. If you must burn, stay with your pile or acreage burn at all times, have a dedicated water source present at all times and carry the phone number for your local Division of Forestry office, (850) 488-1871, in the event that suppression action is required.
North Floridian’s, playing it safe is key under the current weather conditions. Be cautious outdoors and help prevent wildfires from occurring in our area. For more information please contact Todd W. Schroeder with the Florida Division of Forestry at (850) 414-1138.