SOUTHPORT, Fla. (PRESS RELEASE) - It has been 22 days since appreciable rainfall has hit the seven-county area covered by the Florida Forest Service’s Chipola Forestry Center and little relief is in the forecast. While spring is typically a dry time of year, our area is already experiencing moderate drought conditions.
Wildfire activity has also increased causing the Florida Forest Service to tighten restrictions on burn authorizations until conditions improve. Firefighters from the Florida Forest Service’s Chipola Forestry Center have already responded to numerous wildfires this month.
Until the area receives widespread rains, officials advise using extreme caution during any outdoor burning activities.These conditions can cause any small fire to quickly get out of control, cause widespread destruction, and puts firefighter lives at risk.
“In simple terms, it’s getting really dry and no relief is in sight for a while,” said Mike Mathis, Chipola Forestry Center Manager. “We are placing daily restrictions for any prescribed burning or large pile burning right now, and we recommend using caution for any burning activity.”
Prescribed burning – acreage burns – and piles greater than 8 feet in diameter or for land clearing purposes require authorizations from the Florida Forest Service while piles less than 8 feet in diameter of general yard debris do not.