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Environmental Management Office

Environmental Management Office / Traffic Control SIGNS & SMOKE on Roadways

Traffic Control SIGNS & SMOKE on Roadways

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FDOT | EMO | Highway Safety Smoke Management

Traffic Control SIGNS & SMOKE on Roadways

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Forest Service

A Highway Safety Smoke Management Interagency Agreement has been developed between the Florida Forest Service (FFS), Florida Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to provide a cooperative policy and process to warn and advise travelers about roadway visibility conditions resulting from wildfires and prescribed burns.

The occurrence of fires in proximity to roads may create safety hazards. This information describes the approved warning and advisory signs when responding to a smoke emergency, or preparing for a prescribed burn.

The signs advise travelers that proper authorities are aware of the hazard or potential hazard, thereby reducing impacts on the 911 and *FHP system.

By interagency agreement, each Forest Area Supervisor employed by the FFS is authorized to approve the placement of portable sign assemblies warning motorists to REDUCE SPEED. When there is sufficient smoke present to create a safety concern, these signs may be erected, and FHP notified. Signs shall be removed by the agency that erected the signs. Placement and removal shall always be coordinated with the FHP.


The approved standard is a 48" X 48" REDUCE SMOKE SPEED or REDUCE SPEED advisory sign, manufactured on orange, fluorescent orange, or incident management pink retroreflective vinyl roll-up material. The signs are designed to warn motorists that the normal operating speed is too fast for current roadway conditions. At posted speeds 50 mph or less, signs may be 36" X 36".

To advise travelers of a nearby prescribed burn, any responsible person is authorized to place temporary advisory signs on non-limited access roads. Upon completion of the burn, signs shall be removed.  Signs for limited access roadways will be installed and removed by the FDOT. The person(s) planning and executing the burn will provide the signs, stands, evidence of the burn authorization, and confirm the scheduled ignition of the burn.

fire signs

The approved 48" X 48" temporary diamond shaped signs with the text FIRE SMOKE AREA and PRESCRIBED BURN are to be made of orange or yellow mesh roll-up material with black lettering.  For night time use, the signs must be retro-reflective, and can be vinyl roll up or metal.  At posted speeds 50 mph or less, signs may be 36" X 36".

These signs can be ordered from most retail and wholesale sign manufacturers and forestry suppliers. Sign details are available in the FDOT Sign Library. Unless otherwise stated, the components of these traffic control devices shall comply with FDOT requirements and be approved for use on the State Highway system.  Approved sign sheeting and temporary stands are found on the FDOT Qualified Products List (QPL).

Person(s) planning and executing a prescribed burn will contact the applicable FDOT local maintenance yard or operations center to notify them that signs are being placed on the State Highway System roadways in anticipation of a burn.  The information given to the maintenance staff shall include the exact time and location of the signs and contact information for the persons conducting the burn.

The use of any existing aluminum warning sign panels made for temporary installations is permitted until the condition of the sign face or panel renders it functionally obsolete. If a temporary stand is used in lieu of temporary posts, the stand shall meet the specifications for accommodating the aluminum panel.

If steel channel is used to mount a temporary aluminum panel sign, it is the responsibility of the person planning and executing the prescribed burn to contact Sunshine State One Call of Florida (811) 48 hours prior to installing the signs to insure no conflict with existing utilities.  Posts, hardware, vertical mounting heights and lateral clearances should adhere to those specified in the current edition of the Department's Design Standards.

Signs shall be installed 1/2 mile in advance of the hazard area in both directions to allow travelers sufficient time to react to the sign message. Signs shall be double-mounted in each direction of travel on divided highways.

For additional information, contact Jeff Caster, State Transportation Landscape Architect

jeff.caster@dot.state.fl.us ph: 850 414 5267