Bartow, Fla. (March 17, 2018) — Polk County Fire Rescue has seen an increase in fire calls this week, with several outdoor fires. Dry weather conditions and high winds have contributed to more brush fires.
On Thursday, the Division of Forestry released an announcement encouraging no open burning. While Polk County has not issued a burn ban, the Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) indicates that Polk remains in the 400-499 range countywide; the average is 431.
Large burn piles, greater than eight feet in diameter, require authorization from the Florida Forest Service. Yard waste, such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs and palm fronds, may be burned if you meet required setbacks in your community. Yard waste fires must fit in an eight-foot diameter pile or be burned in a non-combustible container.
PCFR urges you to use caution while burning and to keep fire suppression equipment on hand as you observe your burn pile.