Bradford and Union counties are both under burn bans for all outdoor fires because of dry conditions.
The Bradford County Emergency Management Department and the Union County Sheriff's Office issued the notices.
The countywide burn bans are effective until further notice.
The Bradford County ban prohibits all outdoor burning that has not been specifically permitted by the Florida Forest Service. That includes the burning of yard trash, household paper products, bonfires, campfires, warming fires, cooking fires and the use of fireworks. Outdoor cooking with a contained gas or charcoal grill -- excluding a fire pit -- is the only exception.
The use of any fireworks, sparklers, flares or other pyrotechnic devices is prohibited.
Any burning within Bradford County during the ban will be in violation of a county ordinance and Florida statutes. It will be considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a 60-day imprisonment and up to a $500 fine. County officials said those responsible for unlawful burning could also have to pay costs in connection with extinguishing fires.
Additionally, according to county officials, due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment, such as ATVs and dirt bikes, is not suggested during times of high wildfire risk.
Remember, lawnmowers also pose an accidental ignition risk. Landowners are asked to exercise extreme caution during the burn ban.
Any Bradford County resident with questions, comments or concerns or who sees someone or something is asked to call the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 904-966-6161 or the Forest Service at 386-243-6243.