Controlled burn tonight at Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area in Alachua County

PALATKA, Fla., Feb. 8, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 114-acre prescribed burn tonight at the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area in Alachua County. The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuels and maintain fire-dependent ecosystems.

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.