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Posted on: January 26, 2017

Good Fire Helps Prevent Wildfire On District Lands

LIVE OAK, FLA, Jan. 26, 2017 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) is encouraging area residents to support prescribed fire during Florida’s Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, which runs from Jan. 22 through Jan 28. The District uses prescribed fire or controlled burning, as part of its strategy to maintain natural resources and reduce the risk of wildfires.

“Prescribed fire in the fall and winter months is a vital tool for helping to reduce wildfires in the spring and summer months,” said Noah Valenstein, Executive Director for the District. “We appreciate the support of area residents for our prescribed fire activities as we work to keep our residents and resources healthy and safe.”

Prescribed fire helps facilitate overall ecological restoration by enhancing native upland and wetland vegetation and improving habitats for native wildlife. Prescribed fire is also used to reduce fuel levels in the forest to help lower the intensity of possible wildfires. Other benefits of controlled burns include plant disease control, soil nutrient restoration and aesthetic improvement.

On average, the District conducts controlled burns on 7,000-12,000 acres of District property each year. Approximately 12,000 acres have been planned to be burned from November 2016 through September 2017. During this time frame, prescribed burns are planned for the following counties: Lafayette, Dixie, Taylor, Suwannee, Jefferson, Hamilton, Levy, Madison, and Gilchrist.

Burn seasons are divided into dormant season (fall/winter) and growing season (spring/summer). However, ultimately, weather patterns determine how many acres are burned. Too much rain can make burning ineffective or even impossible, while too little rain can lead to unsafe conditions for any type of open fire.

For the safety and consideration of residents, the District posts prescribed fire information on its website. Visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com for updates on scheduled burns and locations.

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.
 
For more information about the District, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, search @SRWMD

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