As Hurricane Irma moves towards South Florida, preparations for its arrival continue for many in the agriculture industry in the state. Livestock evacuations have been taking place throughout the week, as temporary shelters in both Alabama and Georgia have opened. Both states have also temporarily suspended Animal Interstate Movement Health Requirements for animals being evacuated from the areas expected to be impacted by the storm.
And of course, Florida’s specialty crop industry faces impact from the storm, especially the citrus and sugar cane crops. As growers do all they can to prepare, many are hoping steering currents from the low-pressure area coming from the North will push Hurricane Irma back out into the Atlantic.
Plus, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced today that the Florida Forest Service was closing all campgrounds at more than 20 state forests starting Friday, September 8. A complete list of those closings can be found below.
Florida Forest Service Announces State Forest Campground Closures for Hurricane Irma
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In preparation for Hurricane Irma, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced the Florida Forest Service will be closing all campgrounds at more than 20 state forests starting Friday, Sept. 8.
“Today we are implementing campground closures to help ensure the safety of our residents and visitors,” said Commissioner Putnam.
Campgrounds for the following state forests will be closed starting Friday, Sept. 8:
- John M. Bethea State Forest
- Twin Rivers State Forest
- Cary State Forest
- Jennings State Forest
- Ralph E. Simmons State Forest
- Etoniah Creek State Forest
- Goethe State Forest
- Ross Prairie State Forest
- Welaka State Forest
- Lake George State Forest
- Matanzas State Forest
- Tiger Bay State Forest
- Seminole State Forest
- Withlacoochee State Forest
- Charles H. Bronson State Forest
- Little Big Econ State Forest
- Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
- Myakka State Forest
- Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest
- Picayune Strand State Forest
These campgrounds will remain closed until further notice. While all Florida state forests remain open at this time, the Florida Forest Service urges citizens to take extreme caution and not to visit them if they seem unsafe due to weather.
Depending on Hurricane Irma’s tract, the Florida Forest Service may announce additional campground closures or state forest closures. The Florida Forest Service team is in constant communication with state and local emergency operations centers.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.
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