Water-Related News

Lee Commissioners enact county-wide burn ban

Lee County logo

Conditions for ban have been met; county will continue to monitor

FORT MYERS – Lee County has enacted a burn ban for unincorporated Lee County and municipalities effective immediately due to increasingly dry conditions throughout Southwest Florida. The ban went into effect late Tuesday, June 4, when the drought index hit 600.

The county’s ordinance bans “outdoor burning ignition sources,” including campfires, bonfires and trash burning. Grills for food and backyard fire rings are not included. Officials ask all county residents to be mindful of dry conditions and to use good judgment to mitigate potential for significant wildfires.

The Florida Forest Service offers residents information and tips at:

For the county to enact a burn ban, certain conditions must be met, including a Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) that reached or exceeds a value of 600. Lee’s index value Tuesday afternoon was a mean average of 600 out of 800. The county also coordinates with the Lee County Fire Chiefs’ Association and the Florida Forest Service, both of which support the ban.

This ban does not apply to prescribed burns authorized by the Florida Forest Service, authorized public fireworks displays permitted by Lee County and other government agencies, and fireworks sales authorized by state laws.

The burn ban is accomplished by the Board adopting a State of Local Emergency. Commission Vice Chairman Kevin Ruane signed the State of Local Emergency and the burn ban as authorized by a Board vote at the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, June 4. Conditions were met after the Board meeting, so the ban was signed and enacted.

County officials will continue to monitor the drought conditions to determine how long the burn ban will be in place. Check www.leegov.com and Lee County Government’s social media to monitor when the ban is rescinded.