Polk County Officials Issue Burn Ban
4/3/2017 08:35:00 AM
Bartow, Fla. (March 31,
2017) — Polk
County has experienced dry weather conditions for an extensive period of time
due to the lack of rainfall, therefore Polk County Fire Rescue has issued a
The increase in
risk of brush fires and uncontrolled fires are a threat to the public health,
safety and general welfare of Polk County. There are also no signs of abatement
of these dangerous fire conditions in the near future.
The burn ban
includes, but not limited to:
3. Unpermitted controlled
4. Burning of yard and
5. Burning of construction
6. Burning of organic
7. Igniting of fireworks
8. Noncommercial burning of
material other than for religious or ceremonial purposes which is not contained
in a barbecue grill or barbecue pit and the total fuel area does not exceed 3
feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.
“We have held
off as long as we possibly can on issuing this burn ban,” said Fire Chief
Anthony Stravino. “But conditions are favorable for the rapid development and
spread of brush fires and we need to take every step necessary to ensure the
safety of everyone. We also don’t want anyone to lose property or investments
due to fire.”
More than 50
percent of Polk County is averaging over 500 on the Keetch-Byram Drout Index
KBDI index is used as an indicator to determine the likelihood and severity of
brush fires. The scale begins at zero, which is no danger and rises to 800,
which is extreme danger. As a rule of thumb, fire officials become concerned
any time the scale goes above 500 for 50 percent of the county.
While high KBDI
values are an indication that conditions are favorable for the occurrence and
spread of wildfires, drought is not by itself a prerequisite for such fires.
Other weather factors, such as wind, temperature, relative humidity and
atmospheric stability, play a major role in determining the actual fire danger.
The burn ban
applies to all unincorporated Polk and the following municipalities:
Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Haines City, Hillcrest
Heights, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Mulberry, Polk City, Lakeland and Dundee.
“Any person who
refuses to comply or violates this burn ban shall be in violation of County
Ordinance 08-015, and can be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment
by a term not to exceed 60 days in the county jail or both.”