News and emergency information
During a natural or human-made disaster, updates from Volusia and Flagler counties, area cities and organizations will be posted here. Hurricane Irma information.
Information updated March 29, 2018
There are no burn bans in Volusia County.
Florida Forest Service
Burning debris guidelines
According to the Florida Forest Service, people who live in an area where there is not a burn ban are only allowed to burn yard debris one pile at a time and it must be less than eight feet In diameter or in a non-combustible container, 25 feet from a structure, 150 feet from the neighbor’s house or other occupied buildings, 50 feet from a paved road and 25 feet from anything that's combustible. Also, people cannot burn until after 9 a.m. and it has to be extinguished (totally out) one hour before sunset. It also cannot smolder overnight or be left unattended at any time. Anyone burning also must have a means to extinguish that pile (water, shovel etc.). For complete information, visit the Florida Forest Service Know the Law web page.
Updates on wildfire conditions can be found on social media:
Residents should always practice wildfire safety
- Do not discard cigarettes from moving vehicles; use ashtrays.
- When pulling off the side of the road, stay off dry grass areas.
- Do not operate all-terrain vehicles on dry vegetation areas.
- Check lawnmowers and farm equipment for properly working spark arresters.
- Properly extinguish fires when cooking outdoors and never leave fires unattended.
- People start most wildfires. Promote and practice fire safety with all members of your family.
- Clearly mark all driveway entrances with name and address.
- Plan several escape routes away from your home both by car and on foot.
Plan ahead and protect your property from wildfires
For homeowners, the two most vulnerable locations are on the roof and in the area's immediately surrounding the structure. Simple steps such as removing leaves and debris from roof gutters and designing landscaping with fire protection in mind can often times lessen the chance of losing a structure to a wildfire.
With landscaping, residents are encouraged to maintain a lean, clean and green landscape within 30-feet of the structure. This means there are small amounts of flammable vegetation, no accumulation of dead vegetation, and the lawn is well irrigated and plants are healthy and green. One of the ways homeowners can achieve this is by creating a landscape that breaks up the continuity of brush and other vegetation that could draw the fire closer to the structure.
Residents are also encouraged to:
- Eliminate any flammable vegetation in contact with the structure.
- Thin out trees and shrubs so there is 10-15 feet between the tree crowns.
- Prune tree limbs to a height of six to 10 feet.
- Replace highly-flammable landscape material with plant materials which have higher water content.
- Replace flammable mulch adjacent to the structure with gravel or rock.
- Eliminate “ladder fuels” near the structure that might carry a surface fire to the roof or eaves.
For more information on wildfire safety visit, www.volusia.org/wildfiresafety and www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Wildland-Fire.
Smoke from wildfires
The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County offers the following tips to protect yourself and family from the smoke:
- Avoid prolonged outdoor activities. This is especially important for children and persons with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Stay indoors and run your air conditioner, if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. For best results, run the air conditioning with recirculated air. Consider running a HEPA Air filter in your house if smoke becomes a nuisance.
- Keep windows and doors closed. If outside, consider wearing a dust mask to reduce your exposure to smoke.
- If you have asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis that do not respond to your regular medications or you have severe symptoms of headache, dizziness, nausea, prolonged cough, sore throat, or shortness-of-breath, visit an urgent care/emergency room or contact your medical provider. If conditions are life-threatening, call 911 immediately.
- When outdoor smoke levels are high, try to avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves and candles. Do not vacuum, which stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke.
- Pay attention to local air quality reports, news coverage or health warnings related to smoke.
Florida Forest Service wildfire information: Find current conditions by county, burn bans and helpful tips.
Florida Forest Service: Ready, Set, Go! is a national program that brings first responders together to amplify the wildfire hazard preparedness messages and educate the public as we work toward creating fire-adapted communities.
Florida Forest Service: Ready, Set, Go! tool to create your own personal wildfire action plan.
Florida 511 is real-time information collected by Intelligent Transportation Systems to help travelers and commuters with trip decisions.
About the Volusia/Flagler PIN
The Volusia/Flagler Public Information Network (PIN) works to ensure that public information officers (PIOs) will collaborate and coordinate public information before, during and after disasters affecting a widespread area in the two-county region. The PIOs represent a wide range of agencies including city and county governments, the court system, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, hospitals, public schools, colleges and universities, the tourism industry, and nonprofit agencies.
The PIN's operating principle is that public information resources are available to support an incident's lead agency and incident commander regardless of agency boundaries.
During disasters the PIN issues joint news releases and maintains a website that includes information from all the agencies involved in a response.
The group's Joint Information Center (JIC) plan is compliant with the National Incident Management Systems, thereby creating a Joint Information System (JIS) plan.
The network was established in 2005 after public information officers attended an Advanced PIO Training session at FEMA's education center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Since then, the PIN has been activated during incidents including tornadoes, flooding and wildfires.