See Column of Smoke, Fire in the Woods, Call 9-1-1

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Dry conditions in Flagler County coupled with lightning strikes Thursday (June 6) evening have created an uptick in small wildfires in rural areas of the county, but the smell of smoke is largely coming from fires burning in Volusia County.

“We will see and smell smoke over the next few days, but there is currently nothing to be alarmed about,” said Flagler County Battalion Chief and Wildfire Mitigation Officer Brady Barry. “Flagler County Fire Rescue and FireFlight are doing regular patrols to ensure that there are no new fires popping up.”

Fire Rescue is asking residents to call 9-1-1 if they see fire or a column of smoke in the woods.

“Please remember that we issued a burn ban on Wednesday (June 5) for the entire county,” said Fire Rescue Chief Michael Tucker. “We ask that everyone take this very seriously.”

The burn ban prohibits the following:

  • Discharge/use of fireworks, sparklers, flares, or other items containing any “explosive compound”
  • Open burning, including the use of fire pits and containers
  • Outdoor cookers and grills unless continuously attended by an adult
  • Throwing matches, cigarettes, or other burning materials from vehicles
  • Parking vehicles with catalytic converters in high grassy areas

Chapter 12, Flagler County Code, and Section 252.38(3), Florida Statutes, authorize Flagler County to declare a state of local emergency for durations of seven days and to extend them in seven-day intervals, during which time the county may waive the procedures and formalities otherwise required of political subdivisions by law.

The current Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) mean is 552 for the Bunnell District that includes Flagler County, and up 11 points from the previous day. In Flagler County, separated out from the district, the mean KBDI is 530, up 12 points from the previous day, and a range of 372 on the low end and 635 on the high end.

The KBDI is a range from 0 (zero) to 800 in which 0 is the wettest condition and 800 is the dryest, or drought.

“We share all this data because conditions change quickly, and fire – uncontained – has the ability to move equally as fast. Wind-driven fires can be very fast moving and extremely dangerous,” Tucker said. “Taking individual protective measures to protect your own property is important.”

The rule of thumb, accepted by a variety of fire prevention agencies, including the National Fire Protection Association, is that all flammable items within 30 feet of a structure should be removed. Homeowners should clear roofs, eaves, gutters, wood decks and patios of leaves, needles, and other debris.

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By Flagler County Buzz

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