Dry vegetation presents fire hazard

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By Jeff M. Hardison

The first cold snap of the season left its mark in Levy County with dry ground cover and leaves.

The threat of wildfires exists and the continued drought increases problems. Here are some reminders from the Florida Division of Forestry and from the Chiefland Fire Rescue Department concerning outside burning:

* Agriculture, silviculture, land clearing, pile and acreage burning all require authorization from the Division of Forestry.

* Before starting any outside burning, contact the local fire department for any burn bans that may be in effect.

* No fire should be left unattended.

* No fire should exceed the size of being easily extinguished with a garden hose.

* Setbacks must be created before burning yard debris. Piles must be no larger than 8 feet in diameter, or they must be contained in a burn barrel or in a non-combustible container with a screen top to reduce flying embers.

* Clean a spot down to the bare soil around the fire area to help prevent the spread of fire. Fires must be 25 feet away from a forest and your residence, 150 feet from other occupied buildings and 50 feet from paved public roads.

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