Common questions on outdoor fires

Question: Why has Alachua County placed additional restrictions on outdoor burning?

Answer: Alachua County is currently facing extremely dry conditions. Spring is traditionally a dry time for us between the winter cold fronts and the beginning of summer rain showers. This years conditions have left fuels extremely susceptible to fires. Our State and our community is under threat of significant wildfires and requires all citizens to exercise extreme caution.

Question: When will the restrictions on outdoor burning be lifted ?

Answer: We are going to need a significant change in our current weather conditions. This means a significant return of precipitation and an increase in our humidity over a period of time. A single rain event will likely not have a major impact in fuels moistures and fire dangers. We understand this restriction has an impact to the community and we will lift the restrictions as soon as it becomes safe to do so.

Question: Can I still utilize my BBQ grill for cooking or smoking food?

Answer: Yes. The purpose of these restrictions is not to prevent the safe operation of a enclosed cooking devices. Citizens are urged to use extreme caution.

Question: Can I still burn if I have a cover barrel of other container for burring yard debris?

Answer: No. No burning of yard debris in any container is allowed during this period.

Question: Can I use my fire pit or chiminea (Outdoor Chimney) ?

Answer: No. The opportunity for release of a fire under current conditions are too grave. All outdoor fires not in a contained grill are restricted.

Question: If I see an out door fire what should I do?

Answer: Your safety is paramount. Get to a safe location and call 911.

Question: My neighbor is burning yard debris. What should I do ?

Answer: Call 911 to report the activity. During this period of extreme drought, we have to provide for the safety of the entire community. Every fire starts small. The impact to the community of a large wildfire is tremendous. Anyone who knowingly starts a fire which spreads, could be held financially liable for anything the fire burns. Costs associated with suppression and mitigation are also potential impact to someone who starts a fire. Criminal charges along with significant fines are also a potential for someone who knowing starts a fire that later escapes.