Prescribed fire today at Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area in Alachua County

Fire burning through a pine flatwoods

Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time

Fire burning through pine flatwoods

Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time

PALATKA, Fla., June 25, 2019 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 129-acre prescribed burn Tuesday at the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area in Alachua County. The purpose of the burn is to increase native groundcover and longleaf pines and to reduce encroachment of hardwoods.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to manage 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, managing 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 managing the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.