Officials have issued burn bans across Seminole, Orange, and Osceola counties in wake of the current state of the drought index.
This week, county officials issued burned fans county until the drought index drops below 500 for seven consecutive days, or until further notice.
The ban prohibits outdoor burning in order to prevent accidental wildfires. Wildfires are more prone to occur when there has been an extensive drought, putting dry vegetation at risk of easier ignition.
Burn bans are normally activated countywide when the drought index reaches or exceeds 500 and there is no rain in the forecast.
Parts of Seminole, Osceola, and Orange counties are currently classified as having moderate (D1) or severe (D2) drought.
As part of the bans, residents are not permitted to use campfires, fire pits, or fire pit grills, and should not cook outdoors in close proximity to heavily wooded areas. Trash and anything on the ground should not be burned. Above-ground charcoal, gas, and electric grills are suitable for outdoor use.
The burn ban is applicable for all areas of both counties, including individual cities and unincorporated areas.
To report a violation of the burn ban, call the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 407-665-6650, or the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 407-348-1100, or the Orange County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 407-254-7000.