Controlled burn today at Heart Island Conservation Area in Volusia County

PALATKA, Fla., Jan. 13, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting an 80-acre prescribed burn today at Heart Island Conservation Area in Volusia County. The burn site is east of Barberville and south of State Road 40, near Bee Road.

The burn’s purpose is to prepare a restoration site for the planting of longleaf pine seedlings. Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to control the fire’s effects. Its benefits include restoring and maintaining natural communities, reducing chances of destructive wildfires, perpetuating fire-adapted plants and animals,cycling nutrients, controlling tree diseases and opening

scenic vistas. Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time, while also helping to control the growth of woody shrubs. Before conducting a burn, the district ensures that wind and other weather conditions are correct for controlling

the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.