Follow these tips shared by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service when burning debris and yard waste caused by Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Michael dealt a heavy blow to Florida’s timber industry, and it caused a large number of limbs and other debris to fall. Residents and businesses looking to clean up may be wanting to burn debris. Make sure you follow the tips below as they are provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Florida Forest Service in a press release on safely and legally burning debris.

Tips to Safely Burning Hurricane Debris

Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service, is quoted in the press release as saying, “Residents can help protect not only their family and communities from the risk of wildfire, but our wildland firefighters and first responders by using caution and following burning laws that are in place for their safety.”

Tips include:

  1. Residents “should check with local city and county officials or visit comto see if there are any burn restrictions in the area. Yard waste is any vegetative debris, such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs and palm fronds that are a result of yard maintenance.”
  2. Residents should “avoid burning green vegetation at this time to avoid smoke hazards.
  3. Limit burns to yard waste generated on your property that will fit in an 8-foot diameter pile or non-combustible container.
  4. Ignite fires after 8 a.m. CST or 9 a.m. EST and extinguish fires one hour before sunset.
  5. Piles greater than 8 feet in diameter will require an authorization from the Florida Forest Service, suppression equipment on-hand and additional setback requirements. At this time, burn authorizations for piles larger than 8 feet will not be issued for the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Walton and Washington.
  6. Residents must “Comply with required setbacks for outdoor burning and ensure there are no local city or county ordinances that prohibit burning.” Setbacks must be:
  • 25 feet from your house;
  • 25 feet from any wildlands, brush or combustible structure;
  • 150 feet from other occupied buildings; and
  • 50 feet from paved public roads.

The press release directs residents to contact their local Florida Forest Service field office for more information on burning outdoors in Florida.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.