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Controlled burn delayed for Paynes Prairie

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The Florida Forest Service’s Paynes Prairie controlled burn that was scheduled for Wednesday was canceled due to high humidity and wind.

The service planned to burn about 750 acres of wet prairie, basin marsh and uplands plant community via helicopter, according to a news release.

Although the Forest Service cancelled the aerial burn, it burned about 100 acres of Paynes Praire from the ground.

Controlled burning mimics natural fire cycle to restore healthy forests and natural communities, reduce undergrowth and decreases the potential for wildfire.

“Ideally, we would like to remove some of the hardwood plants that have started coming on to the basin and support the natural grass community that we want in that area,” Park Services Specialist Amber Roux said.

Paynes Prairie is on the east side of US 441 about 10 miles south of Gainesville in Micanopy.

The burn has not yet been rescheduled.

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