Ocala National Forest Issues Fire Restrictions

Release Date: Apr 3, 2013   Ocala National Forest

Contact(s): Susan Blake

TALLAHASSEE - Concerned about the risk of wildfires due to prevailing and extreme drought conditions, the Forest Service is issuing a temporary ban on campfires on the Ocala National Forest. 

Stove fires are allowed in commercially designed devices for cooking such as propane cook stoves and above-the-ground pedestal grills.

Fires placed directly on the ground, even for cooking purposes, are considered campfires and are prohibited.

Despite all of our good intentions, carelessness starts wildfires and increases the risks to firefighters as well as the local community, including their lives, homes and property. 

Current weather predictions do not show any significant rainfall for the near future.  Drought indexes in the area place the Ocala National Forest in indicate extreme wildfire conditions.  Extreme conditions mean fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely. 

Violations of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

The ban will remain in effect until further notice.