Tallahassee, Fla. – Fireworks and campfires pose wildfire risks year-round, and the Florida Forest Service, is urging all Floridians to use extreme caution as they celebrate the New Year. Since January, the Florida Forest Service has responded to over 1,800 wildfires that have burned more than 91,000 acres across the state.
“We are encouraging all Floridians and visitors to be vigilant as they gather with friends and family to ring in the new year,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.
Anyone planning to use fireworks should check local laws first. The Florida Forest Service is providing the following safety tips:
- Follow all county or city fireworks laws;
- Light fireworks on a cleared area, free of any vegetation or debris;
- Remove all debris from roofs or decks where fireworks could land;
- Keep a water source and a shovel or suppression tool on-hand;
- Aim fireworks away from people, homes and wooded areas;
- Never allow children to light or handle fireworks;
- Never use homemade fireworks;
- Discard used fireworks in a bucket of water;
- Store unused fireworks and lighters out of the reach of children;
- Clean up all debris from fireworks;
- Immediately call 911 to report any fires.
“Everyone can take a proactive role in fire safety by being aware and following the law, ensuring the safety of neighbors, friends and family,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FDACS.gov/FLForestService.