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Flagler County's burn ban to expire Monday

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(Florida Forest Service)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Recent rainfall and the prediction for more in the coming days has prompted Flagler County to lift its burn ban on Monday, June 12, county public information officer Julie Murphy said Tuesday. 

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index briefly dipped below the 400 mark before returning Tuesday to 406. The index ranges between 0 and 800, with 800 marking the driest conditions.

“The projections for rain over the next couple of days is high, which will further help the index to fall,” Fire Rescue Chief Don Petito said. “The summer afternoon showers seem to be taking hold and are becoming regular occurrences.”

The National Weather Service is predicting about 2.5 inches of rain between Tuesday and Friday.

“We will have a mixed bag of weather with some heavy rainfall,” said Flagler County Emergency Management Technician Bob Pickering. “The weather will be changeable through Thursday.”

While the burn ban will be in effect until Monday, Petito said, Fire Rescue will begin removing burn ban signs at the end of the week, as well as easing restrictions.

“Florida Forest Service has already begun to issue some burn permits,” he said. “We should have really nice weather this weekend.”

Flagler County received less than 2 inches of rain for the entire month of May.

“The June rainfall total is now at 1.77 inches,” Pickering said. “Chances for precipitation are above normal for the next 14 days.”

Officials still urge using caution with flammable materials outdoors.

“The situation is improving, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security,” Petito said. “We’d ask that residents always use caution with barbecue charcoals and cigarettes. It’s a best practice to make sure that these materials are completely extinguished before discarding them in the proper receptacles.”