NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The Nassau County Board of Commissioners again extended a burn ban this week that makes it illegal to burn yard debris or trash, because of high fire danger.
The commissioners said when they enacted the ban that dry conditions have created a state of emergency prompting them to prohibit all outdoor burning. The ban is effective through April 20, unless county commissioners decide to extend it again.
Burning with a Florida Forestry permit is still allowed, along with cooking on barbecue equipment, as long as the grill is monitored.
The burn ban was initially enacted March 31 as firefighters battled a 40-acre brush fire just east of Yulee and after a massive wildfire that destroyed two homes and damaged 19 structures in the Bryceville area.
There have been several other smaller brush fires around the county since then.
On March 31, a wind-blown brush fire was sparked by a passing train in the area of Barnwell and Oneil-Scott roads, just north of State Road 200/A1A. Firefighters dug containment lines to stop the blaze from reaching nearby homes.
The fast-moving fire forced evacuations of nearby residents.
Though no homes were damaged in the March 31 40-acre brush fire, it could have been much worse, as with a wildfire that started March 23, burning 700 acres in the Bryceville area and taking crews days to contain the blaze.
County commissioners decided to extend the area's initial burn ban after Nassau County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Hemingway said conditions are still dangerous.
Firefighters said they've had to put out a dozen wildfires in the county over the last few weeks, and although the ban makes it illegal to burn yard debris and trash, people are still doing it.