Haines City cracks down on burn ban violators

- Most of Tampa Bay is under a burn ban. In most areas, you may get a warning if you get caught burning your trash, or tree limbs.

But not in Haines City, which drew the line in the sand Friday. No more warnings. Now you get a citation instead.

"You have people who choose to ignore the burn ban with the belief this is not going to happen to me," Assist. Chief Tim Mossgrove told FOX 13.

Mossgrove says most people never think their backyard fire could get out of control and cause a wildfire. The state has seen more than its share of them lately. More than 100, 000 acres have been charred by wildfires in just the last few months.

As of Tuesday, Haines City police have nabbed three people who have been burning illegally. One guy was working on his property on Circle 4 Court.

"The man was trimming his trees and didn't know there was a burn ban in Polk County," his neighbor Chester Dunnahoe told FOX 13.

"He lives a different county," said Dunnahoe. "He trimmed the trees up. Piled it up. Set it on fire, and the next thing you know, the police are here."

If you are convicted of illegal burning you could be fined several hundred dollars and even spend time in jail.

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