Prescribed Burn Helps Ecosystem Along US 319

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Smoke could be seen for miles Tuesday along US 319 in Leon County, extending from County Road 12 to the Georgia-Florida state line.

Kate Ireland was on hand to watch the burn. She donated close to 40 acres of land and $300,000 toward the project with the stipulation that the median and right of way be planted with native trees and vegetation.

"I had the opportunity to see other states that had beautiful median strips with wild flowers, North Carolina being one of them. And I thought if we are going to have a four lane highway, it's foolish to make it look like something on the outside of a city.”

Officials with the Florida Department of Forestry say for thousands of years, fires occurred naturally in Florida during lightning season. This is simply an attempt to recreate those fires, while keeping them contained.

Tuesday's burn was done in conjunction with Georgia’s Prescribed Fire Awareness Week. Phase two of this project will take place in March and will kick off Prescribed Fire Awareness Week in Florida.