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Marion County issues ‘voluntary burn ban’ due to dry conditions

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An 80-acre wildfire that threatened homes in southwest Marion County last week was likely caused by an outdoor burn that got out of control. Photo: MCFR via Facebook

Marion County is asking residents to cease all outdoor burning because of dry conditions.

The so-called “voluntary burn ban” comes as the Florida Forest Service rates the fire danger as moderate in the county and very high in most of Central Florida.

Marion County Deputy Fire Chief Bart Walker leads the multi-agency task force that recommended the voluntary ban.

It addresses the biggest cause of wildfires started by people — backyard burning that gets out of hand.

“We’re asking residential burners to not burn currently, to either wait until conditions are better or to take it to an appropriate facility for disposal,” he said. “And if you are choosing to burn, make sure you are within the setbacks and the guidelines because we will be heightening our enforcement of those. ”

Walker says they’re at the typical Memorial Day tipping point.

Conditions are dry and hot — though not as dry as in South Florida. But a cold front is coming and summertime showers could be starting up as soon as next week.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.