FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2012
PRESCRIBED BURNS PLANNED FOR VARIOUS STATE PARKS
~Visitors likely to see prescribed burns this week~
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service will conduct prescribed burns on July 26 at the following state parks, weather permitting. Prescribed fire is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health and reduce wildfire risk.
- Rock Springs Run State Reserve, Seminole/Orange/Lake Counties: The prescribed burn will consist of approximately 230 acres.
- Silver River State Park, Marion County: The prescribed burn will consist of approximately 10 acres.
- Lake Louisa State Park, Southern Lake County: The prescribed burn will cover approximately 125 acres.
- O’Leno State Park, Columbia/Alachua Counties: The prescribed burn will cover approximately 161 acres.
- Oscar Scherer State Park, Sarasota County: The prescribed burn will cover approximately 22 acres.
- Dunns Creek State Park, Putnam County: The prescribed burn will cover approximately 250 acres.
- Colt Creek State Park, Polk County: The prescribed burn will cover approximately 40 acres.
- Lake Kissimmee State Park, Polk County: The prescribed burn will cover approximately 122 acres.
“Prescribed fire, also known as controlled burning, is an important tool in preserving, interpreting and restoring Florida’s natural resources,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “Prescribed fire helps to restore and maintain …the Real Florida (SM) that provides affordable, nature-based recreation to more than 21 million visitors annually.”
Created by the Florida Legislature in 1935, DEP’s Florida Park Service is charged with maintaining representative samples of the original domain of Florida for the enjoyment and use of the Florida’s citizens and visitors. The critical role that fire plays in sustaining many of the earth’s ecosystems is now widely recognized. Many of Florida’s ecosystems are fire-adapted systems that require frequent prescribed fire to maintain these natural areas in good health. Prescribed fire also protects state park neighbors from the threat of uncontrolled wildfires by reducing potential fuel for wildfires. Prescribed burning mimics natural fire cycles to restore natural communities, reduce undergrowth that accumulates over time and decreases the potential for wildfire. Burned lands experience an increase in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.
Prescribed fires are only conducted when weather parameters are suitable. The final decision to burn is made daily, after reviewing the Predicted Fire Weather forecast for that particular day and after obtaining a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service.