The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners passed a local State of Emergency on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, giving it the authority to enact a burn ban for Okaloosa County, effective immediately.
After coordination with the Florida Forest Service, Commissioners agreed that the danger posed by the existing and forecast weather conditions that include low humidity, increased wind, and a lack of precipitation, justify an appropriate response in the best interest and safety of Okaloosa County residents.
“The safety of our residents is a top priority for the County,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Trey Goodwin. “Enacting a burn ban is a tool for us to avoid any potential harms that may come from our current weather situation and is the appropriate action to take to prevent human-caused wildfires.”
The burn ban will be in place for 7 days and may be extended as necessary in 7-day increments.
This ban prohibits outdoor burning in Okaloosa County, including:
• All outdoor burning of any combustible material
• Warming fires
• Outdoor fire places
• Cooking fire, unless it is exclusively within a contained, attended and monitored gas or charcoal grill
Anyone found guilty of violating the burn ban can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Upon notification of suspected burning, firefighters will respond to the scene and take immediate measures to contain and/or extinguish the fire.
Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Okaloosa and surrounding counties. A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. Stay current on weather conditions at https://www.weather.gov/mob/.
For tips on how to be wildfire ready and for more information about the Florida Forest Service go to https://www.fdacs.gov/Forest-Wildfire/Wildland-Fire/Fire-Prevention/Be-Wildfire-Ready.