Prescribed Fire: An Inside Look

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

People driving down Kate Ireland Parkway near the Georgia line Wednesday may have noticed a portion of the median on fire .. But that blaze is what's called a prescribed fire. It's done this time every year for a good cause.

Lane Green from the Tall Timber Research Station says,"We're the good fire people, we're the people to get folks to understand that fire is a natural process .. it's just as important as sunshine, rain, and wind."

Tyler Macmillan from the Northwest Water Management District says, "This prescribed fire is important for maintaining the natural habitat that was planted in the middle of this highway."

State forestry organizations set these fires to improve forestry health, habitat for wildlife, and to reduce hazardous fuel buildups.

Todd Schroeder from the Florida Division of Forestry says, "It gives people a chance to see that we can put fire on the ground in a prescribed way, much like you would by a prescription for an illness."

A large portion of the land was donated by long time resident and philanthropist Kate Ireland, who died last month. She donated to a lot of causes - including local forestry.

Lane Green says, "We're doing this in her memory, in her honor, in maintaining what she got started."

Forestry officials urge residents to check with the Florida Division of Forestry or their local fire department to be sure they're following safety measures before burning fires in their own yards.

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