Alachua County has released the following statement:
A countywide burn ban has been issued (as of March 23, 2020) for Alachua County due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency and the need for first responders and equipment to be available for Coronavirus assistance. The mandatory ban affects all of Alachua County, including rural and municipal areas. It will remain in effect until the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning that has not been specifically permitted by the Florida Division of Forestry, as well as the use of any fireworks, sparklers, flares, or other pyrotechnic devices except for public displays requiring a permit. Campfires may be permitted within designated recreational areas only, pursuant to applicable regulations and guidelines.
Although the use of LPG/LNG grills and charcoal grills is permitted, the public is encouraged to keep a constant watch for any stray sparks or embers while cooking outdoors. Additionally, due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment such as ATVs and dirt bikes is discouraged during times of high wildfire risk. Please bear in mind that lawnmowers, both push and riding, also pose accidental ignition risks. Citizens are asked to exercise extreme caution during the burn ban.
Homeowners can reduce the risk of damage from wildfires by clearing the area around their homes of underbrush or dry plants/vegetation as these items create fuel for wildfires. It is also important to ensure that roofs and gutters are clear of trees and debris.