Recent rainfall and the prediction for more in coming days mean that Flagler County’s burn ban will expire on Monday, though restrictions have already eased. The burn ban has been in place since May 1.
Flagler County Fire Chief has cleared the July 4 fireworks for takeoff while an engineering firm certified the Flagler Beach pier’s safety for the event.
Flagler County is joining at least 21 other Florida counties with an open-ended burn-ban declaration, mostly as a precautionary measure as upwards of 100 fires burn statewide and the local drought index continues to rise.
Twenty-one counties have a burn ban in effect, though for now that has not been declared in Flagler, where firefighters are on stand-by to assist battling forest fires in Southwest Florida if necessary.
The Keetch-Byram drought index (KBDI) measures the amount of precipitation necessary to return the soil to full saturation. It is a closed system ranging from 0 to 800 units and represents a moisture regime from 0 to 8 inches of water through the soil layer.
There are still two active wildfires in Flagler County–Espanola and Opossum–but they’ve lost their bite, and rains have dropped the drought index closer to normal for the rainy season. Still, it was a costly few months.
Recent rains and more humid conditions reduced drought conditions in Flagler and St. Johns counties and allowed the burn ban in effect since December to be lifted.