Fire dangers remain very high throughout the state of Florida.
As of May 23, 2017, the following Tampa Bay area counties remain under a burn ban:
- Hillsborough County (extended until at least May 18)
- Citrus County
- Pasco County
- Polk County
- Manatee County
- Sarasota County
- Highlands County
- Pinellas County (*opening burning always prohibited by county ordinance)
Three counties are currently NOT under a burn ban, those are:
- Hernando County
- Hardee County
- DeSoto County
Burn bans are enacted by each county and prohibit outdoor burning, the use of fireworks and sparklers, campfires and any unauthorized burning. Outdoor grilling is allowed when contained in a grill or other fire-proof container.
- 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. Dispose of cigarette butts properly.
- Pick up light-refracting metal items, such as soda cans, that can spark a fire.
- Don't park vehicles over high grass that could come into contact with hot engines and other components.
- Florida Fire Service creates app to inform residents about wildfire dangers, activity & more
- Homeowners encouraged to adapt 'fire wise' plan to limit risk in wildfires
- More than 400 illegal fires set since Pasco burn ban
- Burn ban enacted for Hillsborough County
- Manatee County under burn ban due to hot, dry, windy conditions