Marion County renews voluntary burn ban

By on March 28th, 2013

The voluntary burn ban in Marion County will continue as windy and dry weather conditions increase risks of wildfire.

Since the ban is voluntary, there aren’t any fines currently in place.

“If people do burn debris in their backyard, they’re not going to get in trouble for it right now,” said Jessica Greene, Marion County Fire Rescue spokeswoman.

Greene said the voluntary burn ban was implemented by the Marion County Multi-Agency Wildland Task Force, a group comprised of local, state and federal organizations.

She said the ban allows residents to burn debris in their yards because a mandatory ban was decided against, but it is highly encouraged to not do so.

The task force includes Marion County Fire Rescue, Ocala Fire Rescue, Florida Forest Service, Marion County Parks and Recreation Department and Florida Water Management districts.

Greene said the group decides if a burn ban should be implemented at the end of every meeting.

“A lot of consideration goes into whether or not they do implement a burn ban,” she said.

Residents choosing to burn debris are still required to follow the county’s burning regulations. Burn piles, for instance, must be smaller than 8 feet in diameter and done on bare soil. Greene also said burn piles should be at least 25 feet from any building structure, brush or forest.

“Fire officials are highly encouraging people not to burn right now because the conditions are extremely dry, and over the past few days they’ve also been very windy,” she said.

Greene said the task force encourages residents to take their yard debris to recycling centers in the county instead of burning them until rain relieves the current dry conditions.

More information about fire safety can be found at floridaforestservice.com.

Sarah Brand edited this story online.

This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Environment

The University of Florida boasts one of the largest bat houses in North America. Bats not only remove pests, but they promote regrowth by dropping seeds.

Gainesville’s Link To October Extends Far Beyond Halloween

Gainesville holds a special connection to National Bat Appreciation Month, housing one of the largest bat houses in North America and a thriving bat population. Bats influence local agriculture by removing pests and dropping seeds that promote regrowth.

Dr. Mark Cunningham (right) measures the length of a 4-year-old Florida panther. The panther was killed by a car on I-75 in Collier County. Jordanne Laurito/WUFT News

Florida Panther Deaths Still a Problem, Despite Population Growth

The panther population is relatively small and they are often at risk for getting hit by a car. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is aiming to keep the panther population as safe and healthy as possible.

Microbeads, plastic fragments found in foaming soaps and other hygiene products, pose a threat to waterways and marine life once they are washed down the drain.

Microbeads In Everyday Products Damages Ecosystems

Microbeads, like the ones found in common toothpastes and facial products, are damaging the environment more than many people know. The particles in these beads can enter oceans and rivers, disrupting marine life and causing damage to the ecosystem.

Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service, recently received an award from the National Association of State Foresters for his success in doing prescribed burns in Florida.

State Forester Recognized For National Impact

A Florida forester received a national award for fire prevention. He calls prescribed burns the “single most important” land management tool in the state.

At the Alachua County Materials Recovery Facility, workers find many people are recycling aseptic containers, like a soymilk carton, into the wrong recycling bin. “We do take those, but they go in your blue bin, or in your co-mingle bin, with all the other containers,” said Jeff Klugh, recycling program coordinator at the Alachua County Public Works Waste Management Division. “They are sorted as a container, not as a paper product.”

Alachua County Ranks Seventh Statewide In Successful Recycling

Contamination in recycling has lead to deficit for the national recycling industry. Alachua County has managed to remain successful due to their dual stream system.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments