Some Florida residents are learning the true dangers of book burning this week. On Wednesday, a man in Nassau County, Florida, accidentally started a huge fire while burning trash, which was mostly in the form of old paperback books. So far, the fire has spread through an estimated 696 acres, destroying two homes and damaging 25 properties in the area.
Annaleasa Winter of the Florida Forest Service emphasized that the man’s actions were illegal, but it was purely an accident:
“It was an illegal burn…It was paper. It got away from him.”
The Florida Forest Service also posted this tweet in regards to the incident:
#GarfieldRoadFire was caused by someone burning paperback books off CR121 in Nassau County. Burning household garbage is illegal in Florida
— FFS_Jacksonville (@FFS_Jax) March 23, 2017
There are two lessons to be learned from this story. The first one is that disposing of or ignoring knowledge is a sure fire way to destroy the planet. The anti-science stance taken on by many conservatives is a ruse to dismiss claims of global climate change and general environmental destruction. Taking steps to protect the planet will hurt some of the giant corporations that these politicians are beholden to, and they will do anything to stop that.
The second lesson is a little more literal. Despite what many libertarians will tell you, some laws truly exist for our own benefit. It is illegal to privately burn trash in Florida because of the abundance of pine trees and seasonal drought issues, not because the Powers That Be are trying to screw us over (They are, but that’s not relevant to this story).
This isn’t the first time that Florida has suffered losses due to illegal trash burning. In 1998, a massive wildfire ripped through Nassau County, causing nearly $600 million in damage. It leaves one to wonder when people will learn to heed the warnings of environmental authorities.
According to the most recent reports, the wildfire is now 80 percent contained. The man who started it has been issued a notice of violation and will be billed for the expenses accrued in putting it out.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via CNN/HLN Video.