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Suncoast Bike Trail in Pasco to Reopen

Starkey Park Close | Pasco Conty | Wildfires

Trails in Starkey Park will remain closed.

PASCO COUNTY – The Suncoast bike trail from State Road 52 to SR 54 is scheduled to reopen this morning (May 13), Pasco County officials said.

However, Starkey bike trails remain closed inside the park as dangerous conditions exist. All bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders are advised to stay out of Starkey Park for their own safety. Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park remains closed until further notice.

Pasco officials closed the park earlier this week because of safety concerns related to area wildfires. The park closure also allowed firefighters easier access to fight the blaze.

Drought conditions and heavy smoke continue to be issues in Pasco. A countywide burn ban remains in effect.

Here is the latest information from Pasco  County Emergency Management as of Friday (May 12):

All camping, bike and hiking trails in Starkey Park are also closed until further notice, due to safety concerns and to provide access for firefighters. No open flames are allowed in Pasco County parks until further notice. (Campfires, grills/barbeques, etc.)

Residents and commuters in areas surrounding Starkey Park should expect periods of heavy smoke on the roads for 30 to 45 days. Please use headlights (not hazards) and slow down when driving through smoke. Signs are posted along SR 52, SR 54 and the Suncoast Parkway to alert drivers to the latest conditions.

A burn ban remains in effect for all of Pasco County. No burning of trash, garbage or yard debris is allowed and the county is issuing citations for burn ban violations.

Grills (both propane and charcoal) may be used for the preparation of food on private property as long as a grate is maintained over the flames and cooking is performed in a suitable piece of equipment designed to contain the flames, heat.

All Pasco County residents are urged to conserve water and to follow lawn watering rules.

The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County cautions citizens that wildfire smoke is a respiratory irritant that can cause scratchy throat or irritated eyes and nose. Smoke can also worsen conditions such as asthma and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions. Dust generated from increased wildfire response activity on dirt roads may also worsen these conditions.

The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County offers these tips to protect your family from smoke:

  • Pay attention to local air quality reports, news coverage or health warnings related to smoke.
  • Use common sense when outside conditions are smoky.  Avoid prolonged outdoor activities.
  • If smoky conditions occur in your area, anyone with existing medical conditions should  limit outdoor activities.
  • If smoky conditions occur, stay indoors and run your air conditioner, if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. For best results, run the air conditioning with re-circulated air.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about taking medications and follow your asthma management plan if you have asthma or other lung diseases.  Call your doctor if symptoms worsen.

For information about Pasco County, go to

Photo courtesy of Pasco County.

Pasco | Suncoast Bike Trail | Wildfires | Burn Ban | Starkey Park | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

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