Fire officials advise against any burning until weather improves

Panama City Beach

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — With many wildfires going on all over the Panhandle recently, the Florida Forest Service is not issuing any type of permit for ‘open burning’.

Officials are advising residents not to burn during the current weather conditions.

Currently Holmes and Washington County have implemented burn bans, but fire officials are advising against any type of burning until weather conditions improve.

The warmer temperatures, low humidity, and excess timber are all a factor in increasing the chance of a wildfire.

“With the amount of fuel on the ground, left over from hurricane michael, it is a real concern for the fire service,” said Panama City Beach Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Tim Smith.

If residents do have a fire in their backyard, it is only allowed to be eight feet tall. There are several safety precautions that also need to be taken.

“Water hoses, rakes shovels, make sure that they tend to their fire at all times. Do not burn without being next to their fire, make sure your fire is fully extinguished before you leave the area,” said Bay County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Darrell Wise.

Once you begin a fire, you are responsible for the damage it leaves behind.

“You are responsible for that fire, whether it be responsible with the smoke and where that smoke and dad. Let’s see if it blocked the highway and created a car accident,” said Battalion Chief Smith.

“Of course you have the monetary and paying for the damage that you caused. And then if it was ruled negligence or malicious then you would possibly be facing criminal charges as well,” said Battalion Chief Wise.

Again, fire officials advise that no burning at all go on until there is significant rainfall for several days in our area.

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