At the request of Bay County Emergency Services Chief Mark Bowen and the Florida Forest Service, and under the authority of the ongoing Hurricane Michael emergency declaration, a burn ban that prohibits any outdoor activity that could cause fires in Bay County is effective immediately.
Additionally, within the city limits of the City of Panama City, it is unlawful year-round to burn any materials of any type without a permit from the Panama City Fire Department. This includes household garbage, yard debris, construction materials and/or any other combustible materials.
The ban prohibits activities such as open burning; the sale or use of fireworks; lawn, debris or trash burning; improper disposal of matches or cigarettes; and any outdoor activity that could cause sparks or flames. The use of charcoal or gas grills for cooking is permitted under the order.
Illegal activities may result in penalties of a fine not to exceed $500 or a jail term of no more than 60 days or both. Each day the violation exists is a separate offense or violation. Further, violators of the burn ban may be subject to civil action for abatement and damages.
The ban runs concurrently with the Hurricane Michael emergency declaration, though it can be modified or rescinded by the board. This order applies throughout Bay County, though municipalities may opt out by resolution or ordinance.