Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Florida Pile Burning Certification Program

Florida Pile Burning Certification Program


In 2005 and 2006 the Florida Division of Forestry in cooperation with the University of Florida IFAS program developed a certification program for Florida Pile Burners.  The first class was held in Bartow at the Bob Crawford Building in October of 2006.  The second session was held at the same location in November of 2006.  In 2009 the Florida Department of Agriculture amended the open burning rules and regulations to include the pile burner certification program.  Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 5I-2 outlines the steps necessary to become certified and also what is necessary to keep that certification.  The rule states that a pile burner maintains their certification if they can show that they have used their certified burn number at least 5 times in the previous five years. 

The purpose behind the development and implementation of the Certified Pile Burner program was to raise the overall quality of the open burning program in Florida.  Any regulatory agency has two possible paths to follow in order to carry out their legislative responsibilities to the people of the state of Florida.  They can act to enforce the law to the letter and in this way improve the program’s activities or they can work to educate and enforce where the education fails.  The Florida Division of Forestry feels that we serve all of our customers best by improving the overall quality of the program through education, and only using the “stick” of enforcement when absolutely necessary. 

At this time the Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry is in the process of sending out notifications to all of those certified pile burners who received their certification in 2006, letting them know if their certification is current or if there is a need for them to complete additional burns before the end of this year to maintain their certification.   They are asked to contact Jim Brenner, Fire Management Administrator with the Florida Division of Forestry, if their certification is in jeopardy so that they can find out what must be done to maintain their certification.  Jim Brenner can be reached by email at or by phone at 850/488-6480. 

This process will be repeated every year at about this time for those that have had their Pile Burner Certification for at least 5 years.


Ryan Atwood

Fruit Crops Extension Agent

Lake, Orange, Volusia, Brevard, Seminole, Marion and Osceola Counties

1951 Woodlea Rd.

Tavares, FL 32778

Phone: 352-343-4101

Fax:  352-343-2767

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