Home / Environment / Conrolled burns could limit Florida wildfires

Conrolled burns could limit Florida wildfires

By

To stop a fire, sometimes the Florida Park Service first has to start a fire.

From Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, the Florida Park Service Prescribed Fire Awareness Week is trying to let people know that controlled burns play a key role in maintaining Florida’s ecosystem.

The Florida Forest Service uses these controlled burns to limit actual uncontrolled wildfires throughout the state.

According to wildfire mitigation specialist Ludie Bond, the biggest wildfire months are ahead.

The prescribed fire burns low-level foliage that could otherwise burn uncontrollably. “As we burn out the underbrush,” Bond said, “we’re lessening the severity of those wildfires.”

The Florida Forest Service issues these prescribed burns based on weather and wind conditions.

Local residents concerned about smoke can check the the Florida Forest Services website for a map listing the locations of the controlled burns and the actual wildfires.

An Alachua County health department environmental administrator, Anthony Dennis, adds that while rare, excessive inhalation of the smoke could prove harmful.

“Wildfire smoke is an irritant,” he said. “It can irritate the eyes, the throat, the nose, and the health department recommends avoiding prolonged exposure to that smoke.”

Cassandra Ganter wrote this story online.

About Christina DeVarona

Christina is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

Check Also

Anthony Dennis, the environmental health director at the Alachua County Health Department, sets up a generation one BG-Sentinel trap, which is used to trap Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are the species that carry various diseases, including Zika. Dennis is planning to place BG-Sentinel traps near already existing light traps in the county (Rachel Mowat/WUFT News).

Mosquito Trapping Begins for the Summer Season

By using chickens and mosquito traps, the Alachua County Health Department has begun collecting data to learn more about potential diseases and local threats.