Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

No Fireworks Allowed
in Florida's National Forests

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Forrest Service in Florida is reminding visitors and campers that the use of all fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices is prohibited on almost all national forests and national grasslands regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Forest Service officials are expecting large numbers of visitors to recreation areas over the Fourth of July weekend and this increased activity could lead to human caused fires.

“We want people to get out and enjoy their National Forests in Florida over the holiday but ask that you keep in mind that, even with recent weather patterns, most of the National Forests are still experiencing below average annual rainfall.  There is still a risk for wildfires over most of the state,” said Charlie Patterson, Fire and Aviation Staff Officer for the Forest Service.

Regulations will be enforced, and violations are punishable as a misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $500.00, or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.

Conditions on the Forests are dry despite recent rainy conditions across Florida and threat of wildfire remains a possibility.

Campfires and stove fires are allowed in commercially designed devices for cooking, such as propane cooking stoves and above-the-ground pedestal grills. Fires placed directly on the ground, even for cooking purposes, are considered campfires and are also allowed.

The use of internal or external combustion engines, like those found on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles, without a spark-arresting device properly installed and maintained is strictly prohibited on National Forest Service lands.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

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