BARTOW, Fla. (June 13, 2012) – Effective today, Polk County’s burn ban is repealed.
It appears that the summer rainy season has arrived. According to the Division of Forestry’s June 12 report, Polk County is currently averaging 200 on the Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI). None of the county is considered dry, with a KBDI above 500.
The repeal includes Polk County Fire Rescue coverage area which includes all unincorporated Polk County as well as the following municipalities: Eagle Lake, Hillcrest Heights, Lake Hamilton, Mulberry, and Polk City, as well as the municipalities who chose to participate in the mandatory ban that took effect on February 24. Those municipalities include Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Dundee, Lake Alfred and Lakeland.
At the time the burn ban was issued, Polk County had reached an average of 596 on the KBDI index.
The KBDI index is used as an indicator to determine the likelihood and severity of brush fires. The scale begins at zero (no danger) and rises to 800 (extreme danger). As a rule of thumb, fire officials become concerned any time the scale goes above 500 for 50 percent of the county.
This action in no way impacts the burn permits that are issued by the State Division of Forestry (DOF) for clearing land, controlled burning, etc.
For more information about brush fires, fire dangers and how to develop a “firewise” community, visit, www.nfpa.org or www.firewise.org. For information about fireworks, visit the state fire marshal’s website, www.myfloridacfo.com/sfm. Visit Polk County on the web, www.polk-county.net.
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Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) is a division of the Board of County Commissioners. PCFR provides fire, emergency medical and emergency management services to residents in a 2000 square mile area, as well as provides mutual aid to surrounding counties. PCFR has more than 500 full time employees throughout 45 stations, which run over 80,000 calls each year.