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Hendry, Sarasota counties lift month-long burn bans after rains lift the pressure of dry conditions

Braun, Michael

Sarasota's burn ban automatically took effect on May 5.

The burn bans on unregulated outdoor fires activated in Hendry and Sarasota counties have been lifted effective Monday.

Sarasota's burn ban automatically took effect on May 5 when the Keetch-Byram Drought Index for Sarasota County reached 500. The index, an assessment of fire risk, is a continuous reference scale for estimating the dryness of the soil and duff layers.

READ MORE: Drought conditions trigger burn ban for Sarasota County

Hendry County activated the ban for unregulated fires for all of the county on May 14 after dry weather conditions impacted the area.

An unregulated fire means any outdoor fire, other than a cook fire, which is not permitted by a governmental agency. Outdoor fires include, but are not limited to, bonfires, campfires or burning of yard debris.

A burn ban put into place by Lee County on June 4 was lifted a week later after rains began in Southwest Florida.

Lee County enacted the ban for unincorporated Lee County and municipalities due to increasingly dry conditions throughout the area.

Lee county’s ordinance banned “outdoor burning ignition sources,” including campfires, bonfires and trash burning. Grills for food and backyard fire rings are not included. Officials ask all county residents to be mindful of dry conditions and to use good judgment to mitigate potential for significant wildfires.

A burn ban remains in effect in Charlotte and Collier counties until an official rescission is made by the authorizing body.

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WGCU Staff