PASCO COUNTY, Fla. -- In response to the brush fires that have flared up in the county and across the state, county commissioners approved a ban Wednesday on setting fires in unincorporated areas.
The ban goes into effect immediately and prohibits open burning, campfires, bonfires, burning yard waste, and fireworks.
A permit for agricultural, silvicultural, residential and non-residential land clearing and prescribed burning must be obtained through the Florida Forest Service.
Pasco County officials said that outdoor cooking in grills which contain the fire, flame and heat is permitted.
"Be aware that simple actions such as tossing a cigarette into the grass or idling a vehicle over grass can ignite a brush fire on the side of the road, The county is so dry that these brush fires can spread quickly, threatening homes and businesses. Residents who refuse to comply with or violate the burn ban face fines up to $500 or imprisonment of up to 60 days," Pasco County Fire Rescue Chief Scott Cassin said in a statement.