Officials Issue Citation for Burn Ban Violation, Unattended Bonfire Ignites 2-Acres
REGIONAL – Due to the extremely dry conditions, firefighters have worked tirelessly to extinguish dozens of brushfires throughout the region, but despite a several warnings from officials, some residents have ignored the county-wide burn ban and continue to set fires on their property.
Around 7:00 a.m. this morning, firefighters responded to the area of Michigan Ave and Gladstone Street in Weeki Wachee, where they discovered approximately 2-acres burning behind several residences. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control without damage to structures.Upon further investigation, fire officials determined that occupants living at a residence on Gladstone Street had a bonfire last night and did not completely extinguish the fire, prior to retiring for the evening. During the early morning hours, the fire reignited and spread throughout the wood line behind Gladstone Street.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office cited the occupants and Florida Forestry Services will issue a bill for their services.
Around noon today, firefighters responded to a brush fire in the area of Commercial Way and Thrasher Ave, where they discovered fire beginning to threaten a plumbing business. That fire was quickly brought under control and there are no reports of damage.Fire broke out in a wooded area behind the Walmart Supercenter on Cortez Blvd this afternoon, but firefighters were able to bring that blaze under control before it reached nearby residences. This marks the second time in a week firefighters have battled a blaze in that area, and sources say it was most likely caused by individuals living in a homeless camp.
Less than an hour later, firefighters responded to Lola Street, where they discovered brush burning direct behind several homes. One witness tells RNRF that he helped deliver buckets of water to the blaze, prior to the arrival of firefighters, in an effort to prevent the flames from reaching two homes that were in immediate danger. There are unconfirmed reports that the blaze may have been intentionally set.
Officials want to remind residents that burning of any kind is absolutely prohibited until further notice.
In Hernando County, residents who start a fire of any type can be fined $1,000 and may be held legally and financially responsible for suppression efforts of that fire, according to officials.
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