Walton County burn ban- Includes Fireworks

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Kurt Lischka, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Drought Conditions Mean Zero Tolerance for Illegal Fireworks

    Under Florida law, only novelty-type fireworks are legal for consumer usage, and anything that flies in the air or explodes is illegal.

    Legal fireworks include sparklers, snake or glow worms, trick noisemakers, party poppers, snappers and other similar fireworks that contain small amounts of pyrotechnic materials that typically do not leave the ground.

    According to Walton County Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr., current drought conditions mandate a zero tolerance policy toward individuals who use, sell or possess illegal fireworks.


    On June 13, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida due to wildfires and drought conditions, with 93% of the state affected. Outdoor cooking and cigarettes are additional hazards during drought conditions. Please remind guests to completely extinguish all cooking fires and not to throw lit cigarettes on the ground.
     
  2. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Thanks for posting this, Kurt. It is incredible how pine trees are dying on I-85 in Georgia, how the corn fields are dead in Alabama, how sick the saw palmettos and live oaks in SoWal look. Then when we arrived at our home in Seagrove, we saw cigarette butts in the pine straw. :yikes:

    If someone sees a guest of ours smoking outside, I'd appreciate a PM. I will also post a sign in our home.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
  3. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    There's also talk of not having public fireworks displays if the drought continues.
     
  4. Miss Critter

    Miss Critter Beach Fanatic

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    Fireworks displays from barges offshore will be fine, but ground-based shows may be prohibited if the drought continues.
     
  5. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news...rida-weather-orlando-20110616,0,5895997.story

     
  6. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    In light of significant drought conditions and the increased threat of wildfires, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in cooperation with the state Division of Forestry and other partner agencies, issued an executive order June 16 prohibiting campfires in wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and all other lands it manages.

    The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. June 17 and remains in effect until rescinded by a subsequent order. The FWC joins the DOF, the Department of Environmental Protection and Florida water management districts in this effort.

    “Special regulations are necessary to mitigate risk to public safety and to minimize the likelihood of igniting fires that will adversely impact wildlife and wildlife habitat,” said the order, signed by Nick Wiley, FWC executive director.

    In its executive order, the FWC notes that Florida is experiencing inordinately dry conditions for this time of year. “As a result, DOF and FWC have been fighting multiple wildfires within wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and other lands managed by FWC.”

    If placed openly on the ground, the fire is considered a campfire, and therefore barred. Only cooking fires contained in commercially designed apparatuses are allowed. Any violation is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail. Law enforcement agencies on each respective state property are responsible for enforcing violations.
     
  7. Gidget

    Gidget Beach Fanatic

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    I would like to see a switch from fireworks to laser light shows http://www.lasershows.net/content/view/110/89/ - better for the environment and for wildlife.

    Fireworks are being blamed for the deaths of 5,000 birds in Arkansas. The professional-grade explosives scared red-winged blackbirds and European starlings out of their nests and sent them into panicked flight. The night-blind birds crashed into houses, signs, and other obstacles, causing blunt-force trauma and death.

    As this case shows, fireworks displays are disastrous for animals. Besides being frightening, fireworks produce plumes of smoke that are harmful to animals' respiratory systems and pollute standing water. The California Coastal Commission banned the city of Gualala's fireworks display after a 2006 show caused nesting seabirds to flee their nests and abandon their chicks. Fireworks are also being blamed for the deaths of about 50 birds found dead on a street in Sweden earlier this year. Animal shelters also report an increase in the number of lost animal companions following fireworks displays. Many animals go missing because they panic and jump over fences or break chains; some even jump through plate-glass windows in order to get away from the terrifying sounds.

    You can help birds and other animals by asking officials in your town to ban fireworks and switch to laser light shows, which provide all the awe of fireworks displays but are more affordable and kinder to animals and the environment.​
     
  8. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/officials-41383-drought-expected.html

    There's a PDF of the Walton County order in the story, and personal fireworks are specifically included in the ban. AFAIK, Okaloosa and Bay haven't banned them yet, so if you really have to, (and really, I hope y'all don't) one of those areas might be an option.
     
  9. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I love that as I clicked on this thread something exploded outside.

    Praying for a deluge pre-4th!
     
  10. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    We had that deluge yesterday at BMB. I am certainly in support of the ban but I dislike it when the ban continues to be blamed on the drought when there are more important reasons for the ban to be in place. Just tell the people like it is. There is no need for subterfuge.
     
  11. NotDeadYet

    NotDeadYet Beach Fanatic

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    It will take more than one deluge to break this drought. Yesterday's rain missed my neighborhood completely, I am in Seagrove. The woods and dunes around here are still crispy dry.
     
  12. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Yesterday's rain didn't put a dent in my yard's dryness - and that was the first actual rain in weeks. It keeps missing me.
     
  13. lenzoe

    lenzoe Beach Fanatic

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    Well, this should solve that problem. Next time I see somebody flicking, I'm going to try to urge them.
     
  14. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]With extreme drought conditions and a lack of appreciable rain in the area, The Walton County Board of Commissioners issued a mandatory burn ban today. Backed by The Walton Fire Council (comprised of members from The South Walton Fire District, Walton County Emergency Management, Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Division of Forestry) the burn ban was issued in attempt to protect Walton County and it residents and visitors from careless open burning. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]The mandatory burn ban means that Walton County residents as well as visitors are being instructed to NOT burn any type of yard debris until drought-like conditions subside and the ban is lifted. The mandatory ban would also include any other type of ‘open fires’ like campfires and bonfires as well as unauthorized fireworks displays. All beach bonfire permits have been suspended until further notice. [/FONT][/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Cooking fires contained within grills and other such devices as well as authorized ‘professional’ fireworks displays are not included in this mandatory burn ban. [/FONT][/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]The average drought index using the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, or KBDI, for Walton County is 680. However, there are many parts of Walton County, in particular the South Waltonarea that are in the 750 range of the KBDI. Any number above 500 is considered in the wildfire danger zone. Even the scattered showers that have recently occurred will not provide the necessary moisture to reduce the current wildfire threats, so the mandatory burn ban will remain in effect until Walton County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time. Furthermore, lighting associated with thunderstorms can spark wildfires that can smolder for several days until the vegetative ‘fuel’ that it’s burning in dries out and can then spread rapidly.[/FONT][/FONT]


    [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]The South Walton Fire District is urging citizens to follow these safety tips: [/FONT]



    • [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Voluntarily delay any outside burning until Walton County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Take yard debris to the Walton County landfill or recycling centers, a safer alternative to backyard burning. Call Walton County Solid Waste at 892-8180 for more information. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Immediately report any unattended fires to local authorities.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Use vehicle ashtrays instead of throwing cigarette butts out the window. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Use caution when mowing or working with other equipment that could spark. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Illegal fireworks remain a constant threat. Avoid them by attending a professional fireworks display.[/FONT]
     
  15. L&PC@PW

    L&PC@PW Beach Comber

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    Please! No fireworks in Pt Wash

    The risks is too great for fire, please no fireworks in Point Washington. Also the loud booms/pops disturbs the peaceful community that we all love.
     
  16. momof2kids

    momof2kids Beach Fanatic

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    Walton County Ordinance 2011-61 and Executive Order 128 signed by Gov Rick Scott prohibits the use of personal fireworks due to the severe drought. Fine is $500 or 60 days in jail.
     

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