TAVARES — Due to the increased rainfall and minimal wildland firefighting response in recent weeks, the Lake County Department of Public Safety is lifting the voluntary outdoor burn ban in unincorporated Lake County.
“We would like to thank our citizens for their help during the recent voluntary burn ban. Their cooperation had a significant impact on reducing the number of brush fires as well as conserving manpower and fuel.” said Gary Kaiser, Director of the Lake County Department of Public Safety. “Although we are lifting the ban, we encourage everyone to follow all burning regulations and practice fire safety if it is necessary to conduct outdoor burning”.
With the onset of afternoon storms, an effective way to reduce the possibility of wildfires is to clear underbrush or debris blown down in storms. These plants and vegetation create more fuel for wildfires during dry weather. It is recommended that homeowners try to maintain a 30-foot defensible space around their home to act as a firebreak. Other wildfire prevention tips include:
- Prune all branches around the residence to a height of 8 to 10 feet. Keep trees adjacent to buildings free of dead or dying limbs and moss.
- Remove all dead limbs, needles and debris from rain gutters.
- Avoid open burning completely, especially during this dry season.
- Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish.
- Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear flammable vegetation from around and under structures.
- Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
- Store flammable materials in approved safety cans.
- Keep items available that can be used as fire tools, such as a rake, handsaw, chainsaw, bucket and shovel.
- Never throw a lighted cigarette from the window of a vehicle or walk off and leave a burning cigarette.
For more information about wildfire prevention, call the Lake County Department of Public Safety at (352) 343-9458.