Campfires prohibited in Ocala National Forest

Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.

The Forest Service has issued a temporary ban on campfires on the Ocala National Forest because of wildfire concerns during drought conditions.

Stove fires are allowed in devices commercially designed for cooking, such as propane cook stoves and above-the-ground pedestal grills, according a USDA Forest Service news release.

Fires placed directly on the ground, even for cooking purposes, are considered campfires and are prohibited.

Extreme drought conditions "mean fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely," the news release states. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

The ban is in effect until further notice.

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