Forest Service: Cool, Dry Weather Increases Wildfire Risk

March 20, 2019

Our recent cool, dry weather has led to an increased wildfire risk.

As northwest Florida is starting to reach the peak of its year-round wildfire season, officials with the Florida Forest Service are asking residents to be careful if they choose to burn yard debris.

“This cold front has brought cooler temperatures and lower humidity into the area,” said David Smith, Operations Administrator for the Blackwater Forestry Center. “That combination can dry vegetation out very quickly and allow fire to spread despite the fact we have had rain recently.”

There are no burn bans in effect in our area but residents must still follow certain requirements: Burning piles of yard debris less than 8 feet in diameter is allowed if it is 25 feet from and wooded area or combustible structure, 25 feet from your house, 50 feet from a paved public road and 150 feet from other occupied dwellings. (See graphic at page bottom.)

Piles greater than eight feet require a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service and must meet more stringent standards. For more information about authorizations, call Blackwater Forestry Center headquarters at (850) 957-5701.

Pictured: A wildfire last May on Highway 29 in McDavid just south of Pine Barren Road. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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