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Alachua County institutes burn ban

Press release from Alachua County

Alachua County Fire Rescue Chief Harold Theus has instituted a Countywide Burn Ban.

Below is the language of the Burn Ban:

After reviewing Alachua County’s current wildland fire conditions and in consultation with the Florida Forest Service, a mandatory countywide burn ban has been issued. The burn ban will remain in effect until June 3, 2021.

Several factors including the area weather conditions are utilized to determine the activation and deactivation of countywide burn bans. Two of those factors are the KBDI and FDI scores.

  • Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) – estimates the dryness of the soil and duff layers
  • Fire Danger Indices (FDI) – potential for a fire to start and require suppression activities

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Alachua County’s KBDI value has increased to the range of 300-399, and its FDI score is categorized as Very High.

The countywide burn ban prohibits all types of unpermitted and/or non-exempted open incineration where the burning of any matter results in the products of combustion being emitted directly into the outdoor atmosphere without passing through a stack or chimney. This includes, but is not limited to: campfires, bonfires, unpermitted controlled burns, burning of yard and household trash, burning of construction debris, burning of organic debris, and igniting of fireworks.

Exemptions-

  • Use of barbeque grills or barbeque pits where the total fuel area does not exceed three (3) feet in diameter and two (2) feet in height.
  • Any other activity for which a valid state open burn authorization has been issued by the Florida Forest Service, Department of Environmental Protection, or the City of Gainesville.

Any unauthorized burning within the County during the imposed ban will be in violation of Alachua County ordinance number 362.50 as codified under Article III of the Alachua County Code of Ordinances and Chapter 252 of Florida Statutes. Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be liable for all damages caused by such violation, which damages shall be recoverable in any court of competent jurisdiction, as well as the costs associated with suppressing and extinguishing the fire. The liability for the costs of suppression may extend to the person, firm, or corporation causing, directing, or permitting the activity, as well as the actual violator.

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