Wildfire Preparedness, Burn Ban

Posted on: 5/10/2017 2:41:55 PM

SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL (May 10, 2017) —Seminole County remains under a State of Local Emergency with a Countywide Burn Ban. Today marks the 43rd consecutive day of the Burn Ban; the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KDBI) reading currently measures 594, which is considered “extreme”.

In 2017 to date, these unusually dry conditions have been factors for brush fires that have burned nearly 500 total acres in Seminole County, and over 95,000 acres throughout the State. Most of these brush fires have occurred in rural areas, where properties often have private roads and driveways. Seminole County Fire Department (SCFD) has identified several of these private roads and driveways as having limited or no emergency access to homes-- a result of poor road maintenance, soft sand, or overgrowth.

SCFD urges homeowners to be partners in wildfire prevention; SCFD and Seminole County Office of Emergency Management ask residents near densely-wooded areas to maintain private roads and create defensible space, or buffer zones, between buildings and vegetation. Buffer zones can slow or stop the spread of wildfire and protect homes from catching fire—either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. Additionally, buffer zones offer protection of the firefighters defending homes.

Seminole County Office of Emergency Management offers these tips for homeowners, as well:

  • Keep roof clean of all debris, such as pine needles and dead vegetation.
  • Remove any dead or dying vegetation around your home which can become potential fuel for a wildfire.
  • Keep any firewood stacked away from the house.
  • Keep a buffer zone or “defensible space” of 30 feet from your home by keeping flammable materials such as brush piles out of this zone.
  • Trees inside of the defensible space should be trimmed with their branches no less than 10 feet above the ground.
  • Keep grass and weeds maintained properly.
  • Talk to your landscaper about fire resistant vegetation that you can use in your landscaping.
  • Recycle yard waste through mulch and compost rather than burning.
  • Keep a ladder capable of accessing your roof in an easily accessible place.

Seminole County is hosting Wildfire Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 13 from 10:00AM until 2:00PM at the Little Big Econ State Forest, 1350 Snow Hill Road in Geneva. This free, family-friendly event will offer wildfire preparedness displays and activities, as well as demonstrations of water drops. See the attached flier for details.

For additional information, please call the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management, 407-665-5102. To report violation of the Burn Ban, please call the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, 407-665-6650.

Media Contact:
County Manager's Office
1101 East First Street
Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: (407) 665-7212
Fax: (407) 665-7958