Okeechobee District Urge Residents to Refrain from Outdoor Burning as Dry Conditions Persist

Okeechobee District, FL– Okeechobee District urges residents and visitors to refrain from outdoor burning, especially during periods of increased wildfire danger.  As of today, May 25th, 2021, there are 71 active wildfires burning 5,544 acres statewide. 

With continued dry weather and increased wildfire activity locally and across the state, we are asking residents in Glades, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties to refrain from any outdoor burning until the area receives significant rainfall. Burn authorizations will be issued on a case-by-case basis until further notice and will resume to normal operations once conditions improve.

It’s important that everyone takes steps to prevent wildfires along with reducing vehicle caused wildfires. Dead fuels such as leaves, sticks and twigs hold far less moisture and pulling off to the side of the road into dead vegetation can ignite a wildfire. The most common way is when the dead vegetation touches the vehicles exhaust system, including the catalytic converter which can reach up to 1,400 degrees. With the right weather conditions, all forms of motorized vehicles including cars, golf carts, motorcycles, airboats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or side by side (UTVs) can be fire starters.  

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.