ORLANDO, Fla. — Update: April 2. 4:10 p.m.
Volusia County issues a burn ban for the county. Conditions are favorable for wildfires, avoid activities involving fires. Any burning needs to go through the Florida Forest Service.
Many people are taking advantage of the “at-home free time” by doing their spring cleaning. If you are doing the deep spring cleaning, you are now stocked with piles of items for donations and other big piles of items to the trash. The donation piles perhaps can wait out in your garage or shed. But what do you do with the trash pile? Don’t think about burning it if you are in Orange, Osceola or Brevard. If you are in other counties across Central Florida, you better play it safe and check with local authorities for any burn bans that might be in effect.
Yard debris burns are always prohibited in Orange County. Osceola and Brevard counties are under a burn ban as conditions have been very dry and there is lots of dry vegetation in these areas.
A small fire or any debris burning that escapes can ignite a much bigger fire or wildfire. There are some fires that require previous authorization from the Florida Forest Service, such as: agricultural burning, silvicultural burning, land clearing, pile burning, and acreage burning. Any piles that are larger than 8 feet in diameter requires a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service. Read the steps to get a prescribed burn authorization in Florida, here. Find out how to request authorization, here.
The Florida Forest Service reminds Florida residents on its website that it is illegal to burn household garbage including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticide, paint, and aerosol containers.
There are some activities that do not require a burn authorization, like burning yard waste such as grass clippings, brush leaves, tree limbs, and palm fronds if the pile is smaller than 8 feet in diameter. Also, you must be: 25 feet from forests, 50 feet from paved public roads, 25 feet from your house and 150 feet from other occupied buildings. Besides the specifications above the yard, the waste burn should be ignited after 9 a.m. and extinguished one hour before sunset. If there is a burn ban in effect locally, in your city or county, then you cannot burn at all. Here are some tips provided by the Florida Forest Service if you are not under any burn ban ordinance and following all the previous requirements:
- Clear an area down to bare soil around your pile to prevent the fire from spreading.
- Cover a noncombustible container with wire mesh to keep sparks from flying out and starting new fires.
- Check with your local city and county officials to find out if there are any restrictions in your area.
After the cold front which passed Central Florida early Wednesday, we can expect a dry stretch over Central Florida. Temperatures will be cooler than they were last week, but it will remain still dry and humidity levels will stay low, this could bring higher threat for wildfires. We expect the drought to continue to worsen. Please stay informed, we will be bringing you live update on our newscast and you can always catch your weather segment on our free WFTV Weather app and on wftv.com
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