The Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) was established in 1968 to inform Foresters, Burn Managers, Wildland Fire Fighters and Residents of the severity of the current Fire Danger. The range is from zero, standing water to 800, dry desert. The KBDI is the amount of moisture in the top 8” of soil. Gains or losses in ground moisture are calculated with variables in Temperature, Relative Humidity, Precipitation and Evaporation to represent the KBDI.
The Florida Forest Service monitors the KBDI throughout the state and requests Burn Ban Protocol from the Governor when the KBDI reveals severe drought and the potential for devastating wildfires. In 1998, our area reported KBDIs of 700. You can monitor the KBDI by going to current freshfromflorida.com.
Thankfully, this Fire Season (JUNE) the KBDI for Orange County is estimated at 400. An On-Site Weather Station is required for a precise KBDI.
Appropriately, July is National Fireworks Safety Month. In Florida, fireworks are legal to sell and purchase but require a permit if they “Leave the Ground.” As we all know, this law is not enforced. But, please be aware of fire safety concerns by making sure your fireworks don’t land on your neighbor’s roof or in dry brush.
Everyone Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!