HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – High temperatures and dry conditions have prompted emergency officials to extend an executive order banning open burning in Hillsborough County. The ban will remain in effect until June 1.
Members of the Emergency Policy group declared a local state of emergency over the increased danger of wildfires in the area.
Under the executive order, the state of emergency is officially declared and outdoor open burning is prohibited unless authorized by the Florida Forest Service. Controlled burning of agricultural plastic in certain farms may also be allowed.
Fireworks and sparklers are banned under the order. Outdoor grilling is allowed as long as flames are contained within a grill or another fireproof container, and the fire is attended and extinguished fully.
The Members of the Emergency Policy group has provided the following tips for wildfire prevention and safety:
- Dispose of cigarette butts properly. Never throw a cigarette butt from a car window.
- Don’t drive or park vehicles over high grass that could come into contact with catalytic converters, engines, and other hot components.
- Pick up light-refracting metal items, such as soda cans, that can spark a fire.
- Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can be ignited by windblown embers.
- Clear away dead grass, leaves, twigs, and branches from structures, roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways.
- Store firewood at least 30 feet from occupied structures.
- Plant landscaping that retains moisture and resists ignition, such as native, fire-resistant vegetation.
- Help emergency responders find your home faster by making sure that street numbers are easy to read.
- Install metal screening that blocks embers from entering structures.
- Know where the closest firefighting water source is to your home or building.
Go to HCFLGov.net/StaySafe for more safety tips and information on the ban.
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