See burn bans issued in Southwest Florida

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

Collier County commissioners, the City of North Port and the City of Cape Coral on Wednesday authorized burn bans, effective immediately.

The bans prohibit open burning, which is any outdoor fire or open combustion of material that produces visible emissions, of trash and yard waste, which includes vegetative matter resulting from landscaping and yard maintenance operations.

The decision in Collier came after a meeting between the Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services, Florida Forest Service, Collier County Fire Chiefs’ Association and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. The group jointly identified a need to have a burning ban become effective immediately after certain environmental conditions were met, including lack of rainfall in May.

The bans include all of unincorporated Collier County and within the city limits of North Port, but exempts all commercial agricultural burning, lawful controlled industrial or commercial environments that are part of the manufacturing or some type of assembly process, and those burning activities regulated by the Florida Forest Service.

Outdoor grills, stoves, cookers and smokers may be used in the preparation of food if the cooking fire is controlled and attended to. All outdoor cooking areas must be free of burnable materials within an area having a circumference of three feet beyond the nearest edge of the cooking fire.

The bans will remain in effect until further notice.

Cape Coral release

In accordance with the city’s Code of Ordinance, Chapter 8-14: Burn ban implementation procedures, effective Wednesday, May 26, the City of Cape Coral issued a temporary burn ban with the intent to limit fire hazards within the city to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents. This measure prohibits recreational burns (i.e. fire pits, campfires) and city permitted burns (i.e. bonfires and land clearing control burns).

Note: Fires solely for cooking purposes where the fire, flames, and heat generated are fully contained within the confines of the device being used (i.e. grill) are still allowed.

The burn ban remains in effect until the local drought index is below 600 for 7 consecutive days.

In addition to following burn ban restrictions, the Cape Coral Fire Department requests the community be vigilant in not disposing of lit smoking materials outdoors, including from a car window. CCPD also requests vehicles, including ATVs, only be operated on paved, gravel, or dirt surfaces and not on grass or other vegetation.

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