COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
ORDINANCE NO. 2009- 2
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY
COMMISSIONERS OF COLUMBIA COUNTY,
FLORIDA DECLARING A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING OPEN
BURNING WITHIN COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA,
WILL BE PROHmITED EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY
THE STATE OF FLORIDA, DIVISION OF FORESTRY;
PROVIDING A PENALTY FOR VIOLATION;
PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING
FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the governing body of Columbia County, Florida has detennined
there exists in Columbia County a state of emergency due to the extremely dry weather
conditions presently existing in Columbia County; and
WHEREAS, the drought condition in Columbia County has resulted in hazardous
fire conditions, and both controlled and uncontrolled fires have and continue to
sporadically arise in Columbia County resulting in substantial damage to or loss of
property and could result in substantial injury or hann to the population ifnot controlled;
WHEREAS, Section 590.081, Florida Statutes, provides it is unlawful for any
person to set fire to or cause fire to be set upon certain lands and areas within a County
where, because of emergency drought conditions, there is extraordinary danger from fire,
unless a written pennit is obtained from the Division of Forestry or its designated agent,
or unless it can be established that the setting of a backfire was necessary for the purpose
of saving life or property; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Corrunissioners detennined at its regular
meeting on March 19,2009 this Ordinance would become effective March 20, 2009.
The State of Florida, Division of Forestry, has recorrunended that the County take this
NOW, THEREFORE, to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of
the citizens, residents, public and property of Columbia County, Florida, the following
ordinance is adopted in accordance with Sections 125.66(3) and 252.38, Florida Statutes,
Emergency Enactment Procedures and Emergency Management Powers of Columbia
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY
COMMISSIONERS OF COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, as follows:
Section 1: Declaration of State of Emergency. The Board of County
Commissioners hereby declares a state of emergency exists in Columbia County, Florida,
arising out of the significant danger of fire posed by existing drought conditions and that
open burning, except as properly authorized by the Division of Forestry or its designated
agent, substantially increases the risk of fire and would exacerbate potential hann to
persons and property which will pose a serious threat to the health, safety and general
welfare of Columbia County, Florida, making it necessary to take action to prevent
greater risk of fire.
Section 2: Prohibiting Open Burning. It shall be unlawful for any person to
cause, suffer, allow or permit open burning within Columbia County, Florida, including
both the incorporated and unincorporated areas, other than as authorized by the State of
Florida, Division of Forestry, or its designated agent. This ban shall include but is not
limited to all outdoor burning that has not been specifically authorized by the Florida
Division of Forestry and the use of any fireworks, sparklers, flares, or other pyrotechnic
devices except as provided by law for public displays requiring a permit. Although the
use. of LPG/LNG grills and charcoal or wood burning grills is permitted, the public is
encouraged to keep a constant watch for any stray sparks or embers while cooking
outdoors. Due to the potential for accidental ignitions, the use of motorized equipment
such as ATVs and dirt bikes is not suggested during times of high wildfire risk. Please
bear in mind that lawnmowers, both push and riding, also pose accidental ignition risks.
Citizens are asked to exercise extreme caution during the bum ban.
Section 3: Authorization for State of Florida. Division of Forestry. The State
of Florida, Division of Forestry, should be permitted to be authorized to allow select
burning as weather and bum conditions improve. The Division of Forestry will authorize
an open bum only after an on-site inspection is conducted by the Division of Forestry
and the burn is deemed by the Division to be safe without substantial risk to person or
Section 3: Penalties. Any person violating the provisions of this Ordinance shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable as provided by Florida
Statutes, Section 775.082, Section 775.083 or Section 775.084.
Section 4: Severability. It is declared to be the intent of the Board of County
Commissioners of Columbia County, Florida, that if any section, subsection, sentence,
clause, phrase or portion of this Ordinance is for any reason held invalid or
unconstitutional in any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a
separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not effect the validity
of the remaining portion hereof.
Section 5: Effective Date. This Ordinance as an emergency ordinance shall be
deemed to be filed and shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2009, and when
a copy has been accepted by the postal authorities of the government of the United States
for special delivery by certified mail to the Department of State as provided in Section
125.66(3), Florida Statutes. This Ordinance shall remain in effect until amended or
repealed by the Board of County Commissioners.
Section 6: Waiver of Notice Requirements. The undersigned waive the notice
requirements of Section 125.66(2) in that a state of emergency exists and that the
immediate enactment of this Ordinance is necessary.
PASSED AND DULY ADOPTED, by the Board of County Commissioners in
regular session this 19 th day of March, 2009.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
By: crtl:::'> f;~_. _
~ Bailey, Chairperson
ATTEST: -P.~~(}I1-S~ l---.--
P. DeWitt Cason, Clerk
Approved as to legality and content:
RECORD OF VOTE BY BOARD:
Ronald W. Williams
Four-fifths (4/5ths) vote of the Board membership required for passage.