Prescribed burns Thursday enhance the environmental quality of District lands

District employee walking next to a fire

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to manage the fire's effects. 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.

District employee walking next to a fire

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to manage the fire’s effects. 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.

PALATKA, Fla., July 15, 2021 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting four prescribed burns Thursday to enhance the environmental quality of District lands and reduce fuel loads and wildfire risk.

  • A 902-acre burn at Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park in Orange County will temporarily close the entire property on Thursday to ensure the safety of the public and staff. The purpose of the burn is to maintain fire-dependent ecosystems and reduce wildland fuel loads to mitigate the risk of future wildfires. The fire was set through aerial ignition.
  • The District will conduct a 174-acre prescribed burn at Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area in Alachua County, along Garrison Hammock Road, near Watson Prairie. The purpose of the burn is maintenance of fire-dependent ecosystems and hazardous fuel reduction.
  • A 101-acre prescribed burn at the Julington-Durbin Preserve in Duval County will temporarily close the yellow trail. The purpose of the burn is to reduce wildfire potential and help maintain fire-dependent ecosystems.
  • Staff will conduct a 234-acre prescribed burn Thursday evening at the Lake George Conservation Area, on Bars Road and Patty Wiggins Road, in Volusia County. The purpose of the burn is maintenance of fire-dependent ecosystems and hazardous fuel reduction.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to manage the fire’s effects. 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.

Periodic prescribed fires on District lands enhance the land’s environmental quality and protect its neighbors from destructive wildfires, but not without the possibility of temporary nuisances, such as smoke and ash.

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.

In fire-dependent ecosystems, fire is as nearly as important as rainfall and sunshine. The benefits of prescribed fire 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.

To learn more about District’s prescribed burn program, visit the District online at www.sjrwmd.com/lands/management/prescribedfire/. Follow the District on social media to know when prescribed burns are taking place in your area or follow the conversation at #RxFire #goodfire #sjrwmd #LoveYourLands.