Prescribed burn today at Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area in Marion County

Fire burning through pine flatwoods

Prescribed fire reduces the chance of wildfire on district lands.

Fire burning through pine flatwoodsMAITLAND, Fla., Jan. 3, 2019 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting an 80-acre prescribed burn at the Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area in Marion County, east of the County Road 35 parking area. The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and the maintenance of fire-dependent ecosystems.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to control the fire’s effects. Its benefits include restoring and maintaining natural communities, reducing chances of destructive wildfires, perpetuating fire-adapted plants and animals, cycling nutrients, controlling tree diseases and opening scenic vistas. Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time, while also helping to control the growth of woody shrubs.

Before conducting a burn, the district ensures that wind and other weather conditions are correct for controlling the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.