TAVARES — Lake County has rescinded the countywide burn ban today that was enacted April 17 in accordance with Lake County Code 10.5-75.
Lake County’s Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is currently averaging 480, and is expected to fall below 450 due to ongoing rain. KBDI is a reference scale ranging from 0 to 800 and estimates the dryness of soil. It increases without rain and decreases with rain. High values mean conditions are favorable for the spread of wildfires.
“Lake County Fire Rescue is thankful for the support of our citizens, municipal partners, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Forest Service during this critical time,” said Lake County Fire Chief Jim Dickerson. “Since implementing the ban, citizens have been extremely vigilant in not burning and in reporting illegal burns. Thankfully, Lake County has avoided experiencing any major new wildfires during this time.”
Lake County Fire Rescue officials are continually monitoring atmospheric conditions to watch for changes that could increase wildfire activity. Fortunately, as Florida’s rainy season approaches, the three-month weather outlook predicts normal to above normal rainfall. Citizens, however, are encouraged to continue to observe safe fire practices which include:
• Refrain from burning yard waste when high winds are present.
• Ensure all fires are completely extinguished.
• Never leave active fires unattended, and have a means of extinguishing the fire close by such as a garden hose or fire extinguisher.
• Continue to re-check any fire areas for several days following extinguishment to ensure it doesn’t rekindle.
The career firefighters of Lake County Fire Rescue protect county residents and visitors in an area covering approximately 1,200 square miles, with nearly 70,000 residences and up to 2,000 commercial properties. For up-to-date news on Lake County Fire Rescue, visit, www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue, or www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO.