Commissioner Putnam Reminds Florida Residents to Be Cautious with Outdoor Fires During National Fire Prevention Week
Almost 80 Percent of Wildfires in Florida Caused by Human Carelessness
Tallahassee, FL – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service are highlighting the dangers of wildfires and encouraging Floridians to use caution with all outdoor fire in advance of National Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 6-12.
“While the recent summer rains have temporarily decreased Florida’s wildfire danger, we are approaching the dry fall and winter season and we must remain vigilant,” said Commissioner Putnam. “National Fire Prevention Week serves as a reminder of the important work our firefighters in the Florida Forest Service do to protect Floridians and an opportunity for residents to learn how they can help protect Florida’s homes and natural resources.”
In keeping with Fire Prevention Week’s national theme of “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” the Florida Forest Service urges citizens to be careful with outdoor cooking fires and campfires. Nearly 80 percent of all wildfires in Florida are caused by human carelessness. Citizens can safely use Florida’s “outdoor kitchens” by following these tips:
- Clear a 10-15 foot diameter area around the campfire – away from tents, shrubs, trees, overhanging branches and other flammable objects.
- Use an existing fire ring or build an appropriate pit for the campfire.
- Avoid burning during dry or windy conditions.
- Keep the campfire small and under control.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Make sure the campfire is totally extinguished and cold before you leave it.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,933 wildfires have burned 47,256 acres throughout Florida.
The Florida Forest Service manages 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting more than 26 million acres of homes, forestland, and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For statewide wildfire updates and additional wildfire information, visit www.floridaforestservice.com. For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.