TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As Floridians begin to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service are encouraging residents and visitors to use caution with fire and fireworks.
According to the Florida Forest Service, over 2,000 wildfires have burned over 135,000 acres throughout Florida since the beginning of the year. "As we celebrate our freedom with fireworks, barbecues, and campfires this Independence Day, we’re asking all Floridians to use fire responsibly and understand their role in keeping our families and friends safe,” said Commissioner Fried.
“The potential for wildfires is always increased with backyard burning and the use of fireworks,” said Florida Forest Service Director Erin Albury. “Please be aware of your surroundings, especially when using fireworks near brush or wooded areas.”
The Florida Forest Service said residents and visitors should always check local laws before using fireworks. If you are choosing to celebrate with fireworks, grills, or campfires, the Florida Forest Service recommends following these safety tips:
- Light fireworks in a cleared area free of vegetation or dry debris
- Clear debris from around campfires, grills, and all fire sources
- Remove debris from any location where fireworks could land
- Always have a water source available
- Aim fireworks away from people, homes, and wooded areas
- Never use homemade fireworks
- Discard used fireworks in a bucket of water
- Store unused fireworks, matches, and lighters out of the sight and reach of children
- Never leave a fire unattended and ensure it is completely out before leaving it
- Report any fire immediately to 9-1-1
For additional fire safety information from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit here.