SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sarasota County and the City of North Port have issued an immediate ban on recreational burning.
The only exception is outdoor cooking using grills.
“This time of year we see more humans causing fires,” says Jay Bailey, Sarasota County’s burn supervisor. Some wetlands are dried up.
Even the alligators are losing their water source. Sarasota’s rainfall is 8 inches below normal.
“It doesn’t take much heat to generate a fire,” says Bailey.
Some basic things you do could cause a fire..
Heat caused by friction from a dragging chain on the road or even the sun’s reflection on a coin can act as a heat laser.
“Cutting tools, torches are the kind of things can spark may ignite grass,” adds Bailey.
Your car idling on the side of the road can cause a fire. A car’s catalytic converter gets hot and can ignite grass.
With this warmer weather, more of us are outdoors but firefighters say next time you barbecue, make sure the coals cool all the way through before you dump them.”
The fuel is there, that’s the vegetation, then you have the igniting source, in this case the charcoal ... in a matter of minutes it can be a fire.”
Sarasota has had few brush fires this year, thanks to three years of prescribed burns.
Even so. when Bailey brushes away a pile of pine needles he finds just how dry is the soil.
“As far down as I dig it’s still pretty dry …down to the dirt it’s still dusty dry.”