With Thanksgiving and the holidays around the corner, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is reminding Floridians and visitors to follow fire safety tips.
Fried, who is a Democrat running for Governor in 2022, oversees the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Florida Forest Service.
“Whether frying a turkey or grilling for a big game, we are encouraging all residents and visitors to be vigilant as they gather outdoors with friends and family this Thanksgiving,” Fried said. “Take time to ensure your loved ones are safe by planning ahead.”
With leaves beginning to fall, Fried and the Forest Service encouraged residents to clear their roofs and yards of dry debris, which can be the link between the woods and a home. But Fried and the Forest Service also prepared a Thanksgiving-specific list of tips.
— Avoid burning yard debris on dry, windy days.
— Never leave a fire or outdoor heat source unattended.
— Keep turkey fryers and grills at least 10 feet from a home and away from overhanging branches and natural areas.
— Clear leaves, branches and other flammable debris or materials from the area around a heat source.
— Keep fire suppression tools on hand, like a multipurpose dry powder fire extinguisher, in case the oil from a turkey fryer ignites.
— Keep children and pets away from fryers and grills.
— Douse coals with water and dispose in a metal container or bare mineral soil, not onto dry grass or debris.
The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.
Since January, the Florida Forest Service has responded to 1,807 wildfires that have burned nearly 74,200 acres.
“Nearly half of Florida is forested, which means we all have a responsibility and role in wildfire prevention,” said Erin Albury, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. “Being proactive reduces the chance of igniting a wildfire and ultimately protects our communities and natural resources from the devastating impacts a wildfire can have.”