During a special meeting Thursday afternoon the Board of County Commissioners voted to announce an immediate ban on all burning in the county except charcoal grills.

The burn ban includes beach fires.

The ban is in place under a local state of emergency for the next seven days.

Commissioners provided permission to Administrator Michael Hammond to extend the ban another seven days if there had been no measurable rainfall.

Hammond said he would like to end the ban as soon as possible, but an extended dry spell combined with downed timber and debris from Hurricane Michael have combined for tinder-like conditions.

The Florida Forest Service had already ceased issuing burn permits in several Northwest Florida counties including Gulf.