BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – Dry and windy conditions prompted Bradford County officials to reinstitute a countywide burn ban, which began Saturday.
Emergency Management Director Raymond Shuford announced the ban, which went into effect at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Shuford said that first responders need to be available to respond to medical emergencies during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and that burning leaves, yard waste, trash or other debris could cause an emergency that would divert those first responders and emergency services.
“The ongoing threat of the effects of COVID-19 represents a severe and immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Bradford County. It is crucial for the public safety and welfare that law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services and other first responders and emergency service providers be available for medical and other, bona fide emergency calls during this time, as opposed to responding to brush fires and other emergencies which are based primarily upon preventable circumstances,” Shuford explained.
The burn ban prohibits the burning of leaves, yard waste, vegetative material, trash and/or other debris for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency and for the duration of the related declared state of local emergency in Bradford County.
The use of contained grills or griddles used for preparing food on a private, personal or commercial basis is exempted from the burn ban and is allowed.
Any activity which has been approved by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) based upon a determination by the local FFS representative that such activity can be safely accomplished; and which is conducted by an individual or entity who is a certified burner as designated by FFS is also exempted and allowed.
Anyone who violates the burn ban can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
Any fires should be reported to 911.