A: The Florida Forest Service, Chipola Forestry Center, has ceased issuing authorizations for all outdoor burning until further notice. Affected areas include Bay, Gulf, Calhoun and Jackson counties.
Increasing dry conditions have created an elevated risk for wildfire potential. Hurricane Michael caused difficult conditions for firefighters to access and suppress wildfires in the major impact zone. This combination has increased threat to wildfire severity.
Residents in the impacted counties will not have authorization to conduct any outdoor burning of “yard debris”, pile burns, and silvicultural burns. Extreme caution should be followed when conducting any campfires, outdoor cooking, and the use of legal fireworks.
Authorizations will not be issued in the affected counties until weather conditions improve.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.
For questions regarding outdoor burning, contact the Florida Forest Service Chipola Forestry Center at 850-373-1801.
Q: Is FEMA assistance available?
A: Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA assistance also may provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your own recovery plan. To apply visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). You will need your social security number, daytime telephone number, current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property, and insurance information, if available. For more information about common questions and rumors, visit www.fema.gov/hurricane-michael-rumor-control.