Burn ban in effect for Seminole, Osceola counties

Officials have issued a burn ban in Seminole and Osceola counties in wake of the current state of the drought index.

The mandatory burn ban, which was issued this week by county officials, will remain in effect 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 no rain is expected in the foreseeable future.

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. In addition, trash and anything on the ground should not be burned.

Above-ground charcoal, gas, and electric grills are permitted for outdoor use, though residents should be mindful to take elevated precautions in cooking away from vegetation or wooded areas.

The burn ban is applicable for all of Seminole and Osceola Counties, including unincorporated areas and within cities.

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.

Any person who violates the burn ban can be subject to a civil citation not to exceed $500 per violation, as well as imprisonment of up to 60 days.

In the event that burning is an imminent threat, call 911.

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