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County enacts emergency burn ban

Franklin County commissioners have enacted an emergency ban on open burning, effective at 11 a.m. Friday.

The ban follows a 115-acre fire at Indian Pass earlier in the week, which included a structure fire Friday morning, as well as a 10-acre fire in Tate’s Hell off Lake Morality Road Thursday afternoon. All these blazes  were contained. with no injuries and minimal loss of propoerty, by the Florida Forest Service and area firefighters.

The emergency order, passed unanimously at a Friday morning special meeting applies countywide, and includes Apalachicola and Carrabelle, upon the cities’ request. It is in place for seven days, and can be renewed for another week by Chairman Ricky Jones, in advance of the Oct. 18 county commission meeting.

The order bans all open burning, with the exception of outdoor grills used in preparing food which are attended and monitored at all times, and which must be completely extinguished immediately following completion of food preparation.

The ban also excludes commercial land clearing where on-site inspection and approval has been granted by the Florida Forest Service. 

The ban extends to fireworks, flares, outdoor burning devices, all burning of lawn, debris, or trash burning, and the parking of vehicles with catalytic converters in high grassy areas. 

Matches or cigarettes must be discarded in proper disposal containers, as well.

One exception to the ban is the use of an air curtain incinerator for the combustion of land clearing debris or storm-related natural vegetative debris. Prior to use of the air curtain incinerator, the user shall notify Franklin County Emergency Services of the date and time of the burn.

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