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Recreational burn ban issued for Sarasota County; North Port issues citywide ban

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Update: North Port officials added a citywide outdoor ban shorty after the county announcement. The burn ban specifically prohibits any type of outdoor fire such as campfires, land clearing burning, pile burns and the like. Outdoor cooking fires in approved grills such as gas or charcoal BBQ grills are permitted.

That the Sarasota County area is 7-8 inches behind normal rainfall amounts for the year. Seventeen counties in the State of Florida have enacted Outdoor Burning Bans.

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SARASOTA Co., FL (WWSB) --  Until the recent outbreak of wildfires in the area slows down, there will be a ban on creating fires yourself. 

Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier issued a countywide recreational burn ban effective immediately on Friday due to the dry weather conditions and an increased chance of wildfires.

In accordance with Sarasota County's open burning ordinance, the mandatory burn ban will remain in effect until weather conditions change and chance of wildfire is reduced. 

"Should a wildfire erupt, nearby residents are urged to follow the directions from authorities which may include evacuations in localized areas," Regnier said. "We ask all residents to remain vigilant during these dry conditions."

The only exception to the Sarasota County ban is cooking fires using outdoor grills. Residents are reminded to never leave a grill unattended while cooking and to ensure the grill is in a safe location. It's also critical to ensure that coals are completely cooled prior to disposing of them.

To reduce potential damage to structures during a wildfire, the Sarasota County Fire Department recommends homeowners create a clear and clean 30-foot buffer around all structures. 

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit SCGov.net.