Burn ban lifted for Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Thursday, Bay County leaders lifted the ban on outdoor burning initiated after Hurricane Michael.

It's for those living in unincorporated Bay County. Residents in the surrounding cities and municipalities may have ordinances that address open burning not in Bay County’s code.

“In light of recent rain events, the prohibition on outdoor burning for county residents has been rescinded,” Bay County Deputy Chief of Emergency Services Brad Monroe said. “We remind the public to be cautious when conducting outdoor burning activities as we are still in a very dangerous situation.”

Outdoor burning is regulated by the Florida Forest Service (FFS). Current state restrictions on burning include a requirement to obtain permits for piles larger than eight feet in diameter and limit the pile to yard waste.

Yard waste is any vegetative debris such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs, palm fronds, etc. Residents must meet the required setbacks and the debris must fit in an eight-foot diameter pile or non-combustible container.

Outdoor burning of yard waste is allowed after 8 a.m. All fires must be extinguished one hour before sunset.

It is illegal to burn household garbage including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticide, paint and aerosol containers.

Outdoor Burning Tips

· Clear an area down to bare soil around the pile to prevent the fire from spreading

· Cover a non-combustible container with wire mesh to keep sparks from flying out and starting new fires

Please don’t burn within:

· 25 feet of forests
· 50 feet of paved public roads
· 25 feet of your house
· 150 feet of other occupied buildings

To obtain a burn authorization or for questions regarding outdoor burning, contact the Florida Forest Service Chipola Forestry Center at 850-373-1801.

The Florida Forest Service still has Calhoun and Gulf Counties under a burn ban.