Due to extremely dry weather conditions increasing the probability of wildfires, the Lake County Public Safety Department issued a countywide burn ban. The ban prohibits all outdoor burning not specifically permitted by the Florida Division of Forestry. This includes burning yard waste or building recreational fires.
The mandatory burn ban will remain in effect until further notice. Any person responsible for unlawful burning faces a minimum fine of $150 per incident, and could bear costs associated with extinguishing the fires. Lake County firefighters are currently battling a 700-acre wildfire in the northern area of the county along State Road 44 in Eustis. Structural protection strike teams, consisting of personnel from various Lake County fire departments were crucial to saving 20 homes over the weekend.
Under the burn ban, outdoor grilling is permitted, however residents should keep a constant watch for stray sparks or embers. ATVs, dirt bikes, and even lawn mowers can pose a risk for accidental ignition. An effective way to reduce the possibility of wildfires near homes is to clear underbrush or debris blown down during storms, as dry plants and vegetation create fuel for wildfires.
Residents are also asked to immediately report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 911.