By: Gina Pitisci
You may have seen heavy smoke in the air if you were driving around Southwest Tallahassee today.
That's because the United States Forest Service has a prescribed burn in effect.
The prescribed burn in the Apalachicola National Forest started at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m.
According to the United States Forest Service, during this time of the year, prescribed burns are used for wildlife habitat restoration and management.
This practice has been in use since the 1930's and also reduces hazardous fuels, controls some invasive plant species and protects the property and it's natural resources.
Prescribed burns can also help control insects. They are set intentionally by experienced fire managers and ecologists and outline the fire plan in advance.
Todays prescribed burn covered more than 1100 acres and to put things into perspective, one acre is equivalent to a football field.
If you have future questions on prescribed burns you can contact the United States Forest Service.
Press Release: USDA Forest Service
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The U.S. Forest Service is prescribed burning in the Apalachicola National Forest today.
The approximately 300-acre prescribed burn will take place west of the Woodville Highway near Capital Circle in Leon County. The Munson Hills off-road bicycle trail runs through this area. The burn will improve wildlife habitat, eliminate vegetation build up and reduce the threat of wildfires.
People are reminded that the smoke they may see today and tomorrow in this vicinity is not coming from a wildfire. Bicyclists and joggers may want to avoid this area today. Motorists are cautioned to drive slowly with lights on while traveling in smoky areas. Drivers should be particularly cautious in areas where prescribed fires have taken place when it is foggy.
This is one of many prescribed burns the Apalachicola National Forest is doing during the 2013 prescribed burning season.
Individuals who are sensitive to smoke may contact the Apalachicola Zone Fire Management Officer at (850) 926-3561, ext. 6523, to be placed on a notification list for future burns.
Today’s burn is in compartment 221 (see the Apalachicola’s 2013 planned burn map): http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5394446.pdf.