• See smoke in the air? Several prescribed burns in Central Florida

    By: Irene Sans


    If you see smoke in the air it is likely coming from one of the prescribed fires going on across Central Florida Thursday.


    The St. Johns River Water Management District is doing a 2,990-acre prescribed fire at the Seminole Ranch Conservation area to reduce the possibility of dangerous wildfires igniting in the area. These prescribed burns also enhance the land’s environmental quality.

    The area located west of Hatbill Road and south of Highway 46 in southeast Volusia County was carefully planned and ignited under strict conditions to manage the effects.

    Over in southern Osceola County another prescribed burn is conducted in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park Thursday afternoon.


    The large smoke plums are observed by our Doppler 9 radar. Wildfire season goes year-round in Florida, but the heart of the season comes in May and June. Prescribed burns help limit dangerous wildfires from occurring and spreading across Central Florida.


    Weather conditions are monitored carefully to minimize the impacts of smoke to traffic and residents. The winds are from the east-southeast Thursday afternoon, between 10 mph and 15 mph and closer to 20 mph along the immediate coast.





    A report released by the Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park said in a release that over the last three years, “nearly 84,000 acres were burned with over 1/3 of those acres being critical dry prairie habitat…we have doubled the 12,000 acres burned per year (average for 2010-2013).
    This is great accomplishment that we are proud of and thankful for.”


    Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a 53,763-acre management unit within the Florida Park Service; it has 38 management zones that vary in size from 224 acres to 5,207 acres. The preserve was established to protect the largest remaining Florida dry prairie landscape.




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