To protect lives, property and the environment in severe drought conditions that have increased wildfire danger, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) today issued an emergency order prohibiting building fires on certain District lands open for recreation.
The order covers 13 of the District’s 16 counties. Polk, Osceola, and Orange counties are exempt from the ban because of recent rainfall.
The ban means no fires in grills, fireplaces or fire rings until further notice. The cautious use of portable camp stoves and grills for cooking purposes is allowed.
As of April 10, 1,704 wildfires have burned 53,608 acres in Florida, according to data from the Florida Division of Forestry. The danger of additional wildfires will increase dramatically if dry conditions persist.
Along with the burn ban, the SFWMD is asking residents and businesses to conserve water and follow landscape irrigation restrictions to stretch and protect the public water supply. For water saving tips, visit www.savewaterfl.com.