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Ag Commissioner Announces New Controlled Burn Regulations

October 1st, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried has announced a new set of rules aimed at increasing the safety of controlled burns in the state.

The state will now factor in the air quality index before authorizing burns.

There are also new regulations specifically targeting the sugarcane industry, creating an 80-acre buffer zone between woodlands and burn sites on dry windy days.

The rules also require the industry to get special approval for nighttime burns and prohibits burns before 11 am on days with fog advisories.

“And in the near future we’ll be announcing additional changes to our agriculture burning process. These changes may include shortening the length of the burning season, potential improvements to the zone model to increase safety for populations, increased compliance checks and training to further enhance public safety and a rule making process to increase fines and penalties for those who choose not to follow these regulations,” said Fried.

Fried also announced improvements to the state’s smoke plume prediction tool, a new software system to provide real-time updates to fire responders and more user friendly fire maps for the public.

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