PALATKA, Fla., Jan. 8, 2020 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 251-acre prescribed burn Wednesday within the Heart Island Conservation Area, south of State Road 40 and adjacent to Deep Creek. The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and maintain fire-dependent ecosystems.
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 manage the growth of woody shrubs.
Before conducting a burn, the district ensures wind and other weather conditions are correct for managing the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.