OKEECHOBEE, FL. -- After much needed rainfall returned to our area, another drying trend is forecast. “We need multiple bouts of rainfall to alleviate the dry conditions, said Forest Area Supervisor Trevor Taylor, Florida Forest Service. “A constant steady rainfall is needed to quench the parched land and seep deep into the soil where the fire is still smoldering.”
The rainfall did help extinguish a few smaller wildfires, but the wildfires in thick vegetation or burning in muck had little effect on them. The Florida Forest Service, Okeechobee District has eight active wildfires that continue to produce heat and smoke.
The Florida Forest Service, Okeechobee District reminds everyone to enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend by using caution while enjoying the outdoors. “Often wildfires are accidental, caused by something as benign as hot charcoals being dumped into dry vegetation or the grill not being extinguished properly.” explains Taylor.
To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines:
- Only use charcoal and propane grills outside and away from structures.
- Clear the ground around the barbecue of all dry vegetation and other flammable material.
- Keep children and pets away from grills.
- Make sure there are no overhanging tree limbs. The heat from a barbecue can reach well above the grill's surface.
- Never leave the grill unattended when cooking or while it contains residual heat.
Disposing of charcoal properly - Make sure charcoal is COLD:
- Allow coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool at least 48 hours before disposing.
- Dispose of cold ashes by wrapping in heavy-duty aluminum foil and placing in a non-combustible container. Be sure no other combustible materials are nearby.
- If you must dispose of ashes before completely cooled, place them in heavy-duty foil and soak with water completely before disposing in a non-combustible container.